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Budget Cuts Impact NIH Grants

by Britt E. Erickson
May 9, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 19

Credit: National Cancer Institute
NIH’s Building 1, in Bethesda, Md.
Credit: National Cancer Institute
NIH’s Building 1, in Bethesda, Md.

Researchers who are funded by NIH will see their grants decrease by 1% in fiscal 2011 compared with fiscal 2010 as a result of the 2011 budget resolution passed by Congress in mid-April. The policy affects renewal grants from all NIH institutes and centers. The exceptions are those from the National Cancer Institute, which will be reduced to 3% below the fiscal 2010 level. Some fellowships, training grants, and career awards are not affected by the policy. Several researchers, however, may actually see additional grant money in the coming months because many NIH institutes and centers significantly reduced their fiscal 2011 research budgets in anticipation of a bigger budget cut. But Congress largely spared NIH’s budget, cutting just 1% from the fiscal 2010 level for a total budget of $30.9 billion. For example, researchers funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences could get some of the money that was held from their grants. “This year, because of the great uncertainty, we have held back 10% of each noncompeting grant at NIGMS. We then assumed that we would reinstate some of the money,” an NIGMS program director tells C&EN. NIH estimates that only 9,050 new grants will be supported in fiscal 2011, compared with 9,583 in fiscal 2010.


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