NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2009

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-066

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • January 13, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-047 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2010.
  • January 8, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-039 NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2010.
  • March 19, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-068 Announcing the FY 2009 NIH Director’s Bridge Awards.

Key Dates
Release Date: March 18, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

This Notice provides guidance about the NIH Fiscal Operations Plan for FY2009 and it implements the FY 2009 enacted Omnibus appropriation that provided NIH with $ 30.4 billions or 3 percent more than FY 2008 funding. The NIH will continue to manage its portfolio of investments in biomedical research as described in the FY 2008 Fiscal Policy Notice (see ). This includes continuing to address the need for a highly productive pool of researchers by providing support for new investigators and sustaining established investigators, who have little or no additional research support.

The following NIH fiscal policies are instituted in FY2009:

Non-Competing Research Awards: The FY 2009 appropriation allows NIH to support investments in research by funding research grants at the most recently committed levels. Non-competing awards previously issued in FY 2009 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the level indicated above. (See

This policy does not apply to Career Awards, SBIR/STTRs, and Ruth L. Kirschstein-National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowships & Institutional Training Grants.

Competing Research Awards: Each NIH Institute and Center (IC) will manage its competing portfolio using funds that have not been committed for non-competing awards. Consistent with the FY 2009 appropriation, the FY 2008 average cost of competing grants is allowed to increase by 3 percent over FY 2008 when compared to similar policies. It is estimated this will allow ICs to support the NIH investigator pool with approximately 9,800 new and competing RPGs. The following guidelines will apply to competing research awards in FY 2009:

1. Maintain the number of new investigators comparable to the average of the five most recent years as described at
2. Continue to use The NIH Director's Innovator Awards within the Common Fund ( and NIH Pathway to Independence Awards ( as previously described.
3. Continue to use the NIH Directors Bridge Award Program (, which provides continued but limited bridge funding to meritorious investigators whose applications were close to the funding range of the relevant IC and have minimal other support. This program provides NIH with a flexible NIH-wide tool to help balance the grant cycling variation challenges and support other approaches to sustain established grantees and first time competing renewals. As in FY 2008, this program is designed to provide only one-year of continued but limited funding.

Each IC will establish fiscal policies consistent with these NIH-wide policies according to its specific scientific and programmatic imperatives. Additional information on FY2009 Fiscal Operations, including specific funding strategies for ICs will be posted at

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA): NIH will support a 1 percent increase in all stipend levels.


Questions about specific awards may be directed to the Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award.