FY 2009 FUNDING AND OPERATING GUIDELINES

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

July 13, 2009

Available Funding and Operating Guidelines


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 levels are initially determined for most mechanisms at the time of the first National Heart Lung and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) of the fiscal year (FY) in October. Although funding decisions are usually made in priority score/percentile order, final funding decisions are based on considerations of program relevance, overlap with existing programs, availability of funds, and NHLBAC recommendations.

New and Early Stage Investigators

The NHLBI will continue a commitment to help new investigators (NI) and early stage investigators (ESI) by a policy of maintaining separate paylines for new competing (Type 1) R01 and First Renewal (Type 2) applications in accordance with NIH guidelines. The NHLBI payline for NI (both ESI and non-ESI) will remain 5 percentile points above the regular R01 payline for FY 2009. The special payline policy for non-ESI will be phased out in FY 2010. In addition, ESI applications on which all named principal investigators are ESI investigators that are >5 but <=10 percentile points above the regular R01 payline may undergo an expedited review to resolve comments in the summary statement. All awards to ESI applicants under this policy will be funded for all years recommended. The most recent NIH policy can be found at the following link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-121.html .

FUNDING GUIDELINES

The paylines for NHLBI competing awards may be updated throughout the fiscal year.

Paylines in percentile or priority score:

Grant Program Percentile Priority Score Description
R01, R21 15 .0   Research Project Grant
R01 New Investigator 20 .0   Research Project Grant
Early Stage Investigator     25.0   Research Project Grants: if expedited administrative review resolves summary statement comments
       
P01   160 Program Project Grant
P01 Subproject   175 Program Project: Subproject

SBIR

  190 Small Business Innovation Research Grant
STTR   140 Small Business Technology Transfer Grant
K awards   185 Career Development Award
T awards   185 Institutional NRSA Training
F31, F32 40.0   Pre and Post-doctoral NRSA

 

Salary Cap:

The FY2009 salary for individuals under an NIH grant or cooperative agreement is established by statute at $196,700. Information regarding the applicable law can be found at the following link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-069.html.

New Competing (Type 1) Research Project Grants:

The NHLBI policy for new grants is to award them at the NHLBAC recommended level except for specific programmatic and administrative adjustments. All applications that do not exceed $250,000 direct costs in any given year of support in the recommended competitive segment will be awarded under the modular concept. Applications requesting direct costs that exceed $250,000 in any year of support in the recommended competitive segment will be awarded with categorical budgets. In addition, grantees should be aware that there is a new policy for both Type 1 and Type 2 resubmission applications submitted after January 25, 2009. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-003.html

 

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

The NHLBI policy for competing renewal and MERIT extension grants that will be awarded in FY 2009 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 a proposed award would result in a reduction greater than 25 percent from the requested amount in the application, NHLBI program staff will contact the PI 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. In addition, grantees should be aware that there is a new policy for both Type 1 and Type 2 resubmission applications submitted after January 25, 2009. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-003.html

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 NHLBAC recommended direct cost up to a maximum of 3 percent (10 percent for MERIT extensions) above the level of the last non-competing award of the preceding competitive segment, except for specific programmatic and administrative adjustments that may be warranted. The maximum may be exceeded to accommodate non-recurring equipment costs. Consortia Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are not considered in the direct cost base when calculating the maximum that can be requested.

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 NHLBAC 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 up to one module more than the previous award. For example, if the last non-competing 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 not exceed two more modules than the previous award. For example, if the last non-competing direct cost award was $200,000 (8 modules), the applicant would be allowed to apply up to $250,000 (10 modules).

These modular caps may only be exceeded to accommodate specific programmatic and administrative adjustments that may be warranted or for non-recurring equipment costs. For example, if requested equipment costs total $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. Consortia F&A costs are not considered in the direct cost base when calculating the maximum that can be requested.

Modular to Categorical:

If the previous award is 9 or 10 modules, a requested increase will likely cause the competing renewal to be awarded as categorical. In all such cases, the Institute will award at the NHLBAC recommended direct cost up to a maximum of 3 percent (10 percent for MERIT extensions) above the level of the last non-competing award of the preceding competitive segment. The maximum may only be exceeded to accommodate specific programmatic and administrative adjustments that may be warranted or for non-recurring equipment costs. Consortia F&A costs are not considered in the direct cost base when calculating the maximum that can be requested.

Program Project Grants (Type 1 and Type 2):

Type 1: The direct cost award will not exceed $1,515,000. The F&A costs associated with subcontracts are not included in the $1,515,000. Annual increases for recurring costs in non-competing years will not be provided.

Type 2: Direct costs will be awarded at the same amount shown on the Notice of Award for the last noncompetitive segment. As with new awards, no annual increases for recurring costs in non-competing years will be provided.

Continuation Awards (Type 5 Noncompeting Renewal):

The NHLBI will award Type 5 RPGs in accordance with the NIH fiscal policy for FY2009 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-066.html ) 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.

Future Year Commitments on FY 2009 New and (Competing) Renewal Awards:

Generally, future year commitments on the Notice of Award will reflect no greater than an annual 3 percent escalation on recurring costs (e.g., Personnel, Supplies). Although the NHLBI remains committed at this time to funding at the recommended levels each year, fiscal constraints and NIH policy may necessitate future adjustments.

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 meeting of the NHLBAC. To reach the average length of four years, the Institute will reduce RPGs 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 until an average of four years is achieved. However, no reduction will be made in the recommended number of years for early stage investigators or in awards recommended for less than four years.

Summary Table: NHLBI Funding of Type 1 R01s from New Investigators

  ESI Non-ESI
Payline: 5 percentile points
above the regular R01 payline

Yes

Yes

Expedited Review: to resolve comments in the summary statement if >5 but <=10 percentile points above the regular R01 payline

Yes

No

Duration of Grants

Funded for all years recommended

Number of years funded will be based on the policy to achieve  an average length of four years for RPGs (see last paragraph on this webpage)




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