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Funding & Research

FY 2003 FUNDING AND OPERATING GUIDELINES

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health

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GOALS

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will continue to apply National Institutes of Health (NIH) cost management guidelines in making Research Project Grant (RPG) awards.

FUNDING AND OPERATING GUIDELINES

For the period from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002 the NIH salary cap was $166,700. Effective January 1, 2003 the salary cap increased to $171,900 and will result in additional funds being awarded to only those new (Type 1) grants in FY 2003 that qualify according to NIH guidelines. Competing renewals (Type 2) and non-competing continuations (Type 5) will not have additional funds awarded for this purpose, however, funds may be rebudgeted to cover institutional base salaries that are within the new salary cap.

The NHLBI will use the following guidelines for funding RPGs:

New (Type 1) Research Project Grants:

The NHLBI policy for new grants is to award them at the Council recommended level except for specific programmatic and administrative adjustments. Awards will be modular for all applications that do not exceed $250,000 direct costs in any given year of support in the recommended competitive segment and categorical for those that exceed $250,000 in any year of support in the recommended competitive segment.

Competing Renewal (Type 2) Research Project and MERIT Extension (Type 4) Awards:

Investigators holding First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) awards who are ending their initial project period and recompeting for renewal as regular research grants are considered new (Type 1) awards for funding purposes and are not subject to the limitations on Type 2 awards described in the following.

The NHLBI policy for competing renewal and MERIT extension grants that will be awarded in Fiscal Year 2003 differs depending upon the nature of the award in the preceding competitive segment and the likely form of the award for a competitive renewal. Please note that if the proposed award would result in a reduction greater than 25 percent from the Council recommended level, then NHLBI program staff will contact the Principal Investigator and the applicant institution before an award is issued to obtain: either (a) a statement that the approved aims and objectives can be accomplished within the proposed level of support, or (b) a revised statement of aims and revised budget for the proposed level of support.

Categorical to Categorical:

For competing renewal and MERIT extension grants that were categorical awards in the preceding competitive segment and will be in excess of $250,000 direct costs in any given year in the recommended competitive segment, the Institute will award at the Council recommended direct cost up to a maximum of 10 percent above the level of the last noncompeting award of the preceding competitive segment, except for specific programmatic and administrative adjustments that may be warranted. The 10 percent maximum will only be exceeded to accommodate non-recurring equipment costs or F&A costs associated with the introduction of new consortia.

Categorical to Modular:

For competing renewal and MERIT extension grants that were categorical awards in the preceding competitive segment and will be no more than $250,000 direct costs in any given year in the recommended competitive segment, the Institute will award at the Council recommended direct cost up to a maximum of 10 percent above the level of the last noncompeting award of the preceding competitive segment rounded up to the next module. For example, if the last noncompeting direct cost award was $150,000, a 10 percent escalation would be $165,000. As a result, the applicant would be allowed to round up to the next module, and request $175,000 in direct costs. The cap will only be exceeded to accommodate non-recurring equipment costs or F&A costs associated with the introduction of new consortia, which will also be rounded up to the next module. For example, if requested equipment costs $15,000, a one-time request for an additional module may be made. However, if one-time equipment costs result in direct costs in excess of $250,000, the award will be made as categorical and so actual equipment costs will be awarded.

Modular to Modular:

For competing renewal and MERIT extension grants that were modular awards in the preceding competitive segment and will be no more than $250,000 direct costs in any given year in the recommended competitive segment, the Institute will award at the Council recommended direct cost up to a maximum number of modules specified as follows:

If the previous award is 6 or fewer modules, the competing renewal may be one module more than the previous award. For example, if the last noncompeting direct cost award was $150,000 (6 modules), the applicant would be allowed to apply for $175,000 (7 modules).

If the previous award is 7 or 8 modules, the competing renewal may be two more modules than the previous award. For example, if the last noncompeting direct cost award was $200,000 (8 modules), the applicant would be allowed to apply for $250,000 (10 modules).

These modular caps will only be exceeded to accommodate non-recurring equipment costs or F&A costs associated with the introduction of new consortia, which will also be rounded up to the next module. For example, if requested equipment costs $15,000, a one-time request for an additional module may be made. However, if one-time equipment costs result in direct costs in excess of $250,000, the award will be made as categorical and so actual equipment costs will be awarded.

Modular to Categorical:

If the previous award is 9 or 10 modules, any requested increase will cause the competing renewal to be awarded as categorical. In all such cases, the Institute will award at the Council recommended direct cost up to a maximum of 10 percent above the level of the last noncompeting award of the preceding competitive segment, except for specific programmatic and administrative adjustments that may be warranted. The 10 percent maximum will only be exceeded to accommodate non-recurring equipment costs or F&A costs associated with the introduction of new consortia.
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Program Project Grants (Type 1 and Type 2):

Type 1: The direct cost award will not exceed $1,420,000. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs associated with subcontracts are NOT included in the $1,420,000.

Type 2: The direct cost award will not exceed $1,420,000 or 10 percent more than the recommended amount shown on the Notice of Grant Award for the last noncompetitive year. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs associated with subcontracts are NOT included in the calculation. Annual increases in non-competing years are allowed at 3 percent per year.

Noncompeting Renewal (Type 5) Grants:

The Institute will award the recommended level for FY 2003 reflected on the FY 2002 award notice. However, the Institute retains the right to reduce such a level when necessary and appropriate. For example, such a reduction would be made to eliminate any overlapping support identified.

Future Year Commitments on FY 2003 New and Competing Renewal Awards:

Generally, future year commitments on the Notice of Grant Award will reflect an annual 3 percent escalation on recurring costs (e.g., Personnel, Supplies). The annual 3 percent escalation does not apply to Modular Grants.


DURATION OF GRANTS

To achieve an average length of four years, the NHLBI will calculate the average length of research project grants awarded at each Council. To reach the average length of four years, the Institute will reduce research project grants recommended for five years to four years beginning with those grants with the least favorable percentile scores and continuing to those with the most favorable percentile scores. With this approach grants recommended for four years will not be reduced to three years by the Institute.

Revised: February 2003

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