Notice of Fiscal Policies in Effect for FY 2021
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

January 29, 2021

Related Announcements

NOT-OD-22-015 - Notice of Fiscal Policies in Effect for FY 2022

NOT-OD-21-056 - Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2021

NOT-OD-21-057 - Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2021

NOT-OD-21-049 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2021

NOT-OD-22-076 - Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Issued by



This Notice provides guidance about the NIH Fiscal Operations for Fiscal Year 2021 and implements the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260), signed into law on December 27, 2020.

The agreement provides $42.93 billion for NIH, including $404 million from the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255), a three percent increase above FY 2020. The agreement provides a funding increase of no less than 1.5 percent above fiscal year 2020 to every Institute and Center (IC).

The agreement appropriates funds authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act along with mandatory funding for the Type 1 Diabetes Program which includes funding for the following initiatives:

  • Cancer Research
  • Brain Initiative
  • All of Us Precision Medicine Initiative
  • Common Fund
  • Type 1 Diabetes Program

The mandatory funding for Type 1 Diabetes provided in PL 116-260 for FY 2021 is $150 million.

The following NIH fiscal policies are instituted in FY 2021:

FY 2021 Funding Levels: Non-competing continuation awards made in FY 2021 will generally be issued at the commitment level indicated on the Notice of Award. Any exceptions will be posted at the site listed under "Additional Information," below. Subsequent budget periods are funded based on the availability of appropriations, satisfactory performance, compliance with the terms and conditions of the award, and the continued best interest of the Federal government. The NIH awarding Institutes/Centers (ICs) will develop and post their fiscal policies consistent with overall NIH goals and available FY 2021 funds.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA): Consistent with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee to the Director regarding the Biomedical Research Workforce, the NIH will increase NRSA stipends by approximately two percent for predocs and two percent for postdocs. The full range of stipend adjustments for FY 2021 is described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-21-049.

Next Generation Researchers Initiative Policy: NIH will prioritize meritorious R01-equivalent applications from Early Stage Investor (ESI) PD/PIs. By providing funding priority for ESIs, NIH intends to encourage funding applications that involve researchers earlier in their career in accordance with the policy established in FY 2017 and described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-101.

Salary Limits: Section 202 of PL 116-260 restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. Effective January 3, 2021, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $199,300. Further information is described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-21-057.

Other Legislative Mandates: Other statutory requirements are described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-21-056.

Additional Information: Additional details on Fiscal Operations, including specific funding strategies for ICs, will be posted on the NIH Funding Strategies webpage.


Please direct all inquiries to:

National Institutes of Health
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Division of Grants Policy

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices