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NIH GUIDE, Volume 24, Number 20, June 2, 1995

P.T. 34


  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

National Institutes of Health

The information indicated below will guide the Institutes and Centers

in their funding decisions on Research Project Grants (RPGs),

excluding SBIR/STTR awards, in 1995.  These principles remain

essentially the same as those for 1994 with the aforementioned

exception of SBIR/STTR awards.  The funding strategies detailed in

Section II may be changed from year to year depending upon the

appropriation level and associated Congressional directives.

I.  Core Principles.

1.  Grants will be awarded on the basis of reasonable and allowable

costs consonant with the principles of sound cost management and in

consideration of Institute or Center (IC) priorities, constraints on

the growth of average grant costs, and the availability of funds.

2. The award of noncompeting research project grants at committed

levels continues to be the cornerstone of the NIH Financial

Management Plan and is the basis of the plan's credibility with the

scientific community and Congress.

3. Determination of commitments for future years must take into

consideration stability of support for investigators, optimum

portfolio balance, and opportunities to address emerging problems.

II.  Fiscal Year 1995 Funding Strategies (excluding SBIR/STTR awards)

1.  The direct cost level of noncompeting awards, on the average,

will not exceed the direct cost level of the previous budget period

by more than four percent.  NIH staff may make exceptions for

specifically justified programmatic requirements and one-time, non-

recurring costs such as equipment.

2.  For noncompeting grants, every effort will be made to make awards

at the committed levels.  If fiscal conditions in an IC are such that

funding at the committed levels is not possible, the IC will consult

with the Deputy Director for Extramural Research, NIH, to determine

an appropriate resolution.

3.  The average total (direct and indirect) cost of a competing grant

in the FY 1995 cohort will not be more than the Biomedical Research

and Development Price Index (BRDPI) (4.1 percent) than the average

total cost of a competing grant in FY 1994.  Given certain

appropriation levels, some ICs may not be able to provide an increase

as much as the BRDPI.

4.  When necessary, budgetary reductions from the requested level

will be achieved through a combination of initial review and

Council/Board recommendations, staff review for cost allocability,

allowability, and reasonableness, and programmatic adjustments to

arrive at an appropriate funding level.

5.  Based on adjustments to the project, IC staff, in consultation

with the principal investigator, will decide if a new statement of

specific aims is required.  When reductions are 25 percent or more of

the IRG recommended level, staff will obtain a revised statement of

specific aims, a revised budget and/or revised timetable, as

appropriate, for the project, which must be approved and

countersigned by the institution and approved by program and grants

management staff.  To ensure initial review group understanding of

the modified scope of a funded project, the approved statement of

revised aims should be submitted by the investigator in competing

continuation grant applications.

6.  For competing continuation grants, one factor in arriving at the

award amount will be the level of support in prior years and the

extent to which the IC can permit growth within the existing

constraints on average costs.

7.  The average length of research project grants will not exceed

four years.

8.  In making funding decisions, ICs should consider the total costs

of a grant, especially at the margin of the funding plan.


For further information, contact the Grants Management Specialist or

Health Science Administrator responsible for the grant.  The names

and telephone numbers are indicated on the Notice of Grant Award.


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