*Summary Statement issues must be satisfactorily resolved on applications >16 percentile.
Future Year Commitments on FY 2014 New and Competing Renewal Awards:
As in recent fiscal years (see NOT-OD-13-064), inflationary increases for future year commitments are no longer provided for all competing and non-competing research grant awards issued by the NHLBI. However, adjustments for special needs (such as equipment and added personnel) will continue to be accommodated whenever possible.
Duration of Research Project Grants
The NHLBI will fund investigator-initiated R01 competing applications, regardless of percentile or priority score, for four years or less. The only exceptions to this policy are awards made to Early Stage Investigators (ESIs), clinical trials with patient accrual and follow-up timelines that cannot be accomplished within four years, and AIDS-related research. These excepted applications will generally be awarded for the full length of their National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) recommended project period.
Early Stage Investigators
Fostering the success of Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) who are establishing careers in biomedical research is a high priority of the NHLBI and NIH, and the NHLBI will continue its commitment to ESIs in accordance with NIH guidelines as articulated in the NIH Guide (see NOT-OD-09-013). The NHLBI commitment to ESIs is reflected in the special consideration given in both funding priority and period of support. Funding advantage is given to ESI applications whose Principal Investigators maintain New Investigator status when a funding decision is made.
The NHLBI routinely considers funding ESI applications that score outside of the normal funding range by maintaining a separate payline for new, competing (Type 1) investigator-initiated ESI R01 applications. In FY 2014, the payline for these applications will be 5 percentile points above the regular R01 payline. In addition, new, competing (Type 1) investigator-initiated ESI R01 applications that have percentile scores greater than 5 and less than or equal to 10 percentile points above the regular R01 payline may undergo an expedited program review to resolve comments in the summary statement. Further, all awards to ESI applicants that are included under that policy will be funded for all years recommended by the NHLBAC.
Note regarding NHLBI policy on ESI application resubmission post ESI eligibility status: For investigators whose ESI eligibility window expires between the new (A0) application submission and the resubmission (A1), NIH limits the ESI-eligible status to 13 months after the submission date of the original application (please see FAQ 6). In contrast, the NHLBI will honor ESI special funding consideration for these resubmission applications for the entirety of the resubmission window (37 months). In other words, as long as an ESI submits the original application and maintains NIH New Investigator Status, the resubmission (A1) of these applications is eligible for NHLBI ESI special funding consideration.
Note regarding applications with Multiple PIs: To be eligible for the ESI funding advantage, all PIs on multiple-PI applications must be ESIs with New Investigator status when a funding decision is made.
First Competing Renewals of Awarded NHLBI Early Stage Investigator Applications
The NHLBI appreciates that the first competing renewal applications of awarded ESI applications are submitted during a critical period in investigators' careers. In order to extend timely support for the next generation of heart, lung, blood, and sleep researchers, the NHLBI maintains a separate payline of 5 percentile points above the regular R01 payline for investigator-initiated first competing renewal (Type 2) applications that meet all of the following criteria:
Effective FY2014, being a subproject director is no longer a disqualifier for funding advantage. Also, New Investigators (NIs) who were not ESIs at time of the Type 1 application submission will no longer have a funding advantage for the first competing renewal.
NHLBI Interim Funding Using the R56 (High Priority, Short-Term Project) Award
Pending the availability of funds, the NHLBI may use the R56 grant mechanism to provide limited, interim research support to Type 2 resubmission applications and Type 1 resubmission Early Stage Investigator (ESI) applications requesting less than $500K in direct costs/year. Eligible applicants cannot have substantial funding support from within or outside NIH beyond the current fiscal year. Further, applications with administrative issues that preclude timely award are ineligible for this program.
NHLBI participation in the R56 mechanism has been published in the NIH Guide (see NOT-HL-13-188). Please note that investigators cannot apply for R56 awards. Applications for conversion to an R56 will be selected by NHLBI staff, based on Institute goals and priorities, from peer-reviewed R01 grant applications as follows:
The ultimate goal of the award is to provide interim, one-year support for investigators to collect preliminary data in support of a new (Type 1 A0) NIH R01 application.
The NHLBI will use the following guidelines for funding RPGs:
The FY2014 salary cap for individuals under an NIH grant or cooperative agreement is established by statute at $181,500 effective January 12, 2014 (NOT-OD-14-052)
New (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. Applications that do not exceed $250,000 direct c osts in any given year of support in the recommended competitive segment are generally 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.
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 2014 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 statement that the approved aims and objectives can be accomplished within the proposed level of support, or a revised statement of aims and revised budget for the proposed level of support.
Program Project Grants (Type 1 and Type 2)
Type 1: Direct costs will be awarded at the recommended level or $1,515,000, whichever is less. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs associated with first tier subcontracts are not included in the direct cost ceiling. No annual increases for recurring costs in non-competing years are allowed.
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 are allowed.
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 of the recommended competitive segment, the NHLBI will award at the NHLBAC recommended direct cost up to a maximum of three 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. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs for first tier consortia 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 of the recommended competitive segment, the NHLBI will award at the NHLBAC recommended direct cost amount, if appropriations allow. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs for first tier consortia are not considered in the direct cost base when calculating the maximum that can be requested.
Modular to Categorical
If the previous award is 10 modules, a requested increase will cause the competing renewal to be awarded as categorical. In all such cases, the NHLBI 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. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs for first tier consortia are not considered in the direct cost base when calculating the maximum that can be requested.
Continuation Awards (Type 5 Noncompeting Renewal)
The NHLBI will award Type 5 grants in accordance with the NIH Fiscal Policy for FY2014 (NOT-OD-14-055). Awards previously issued will be revised in accordance with this policy.
Last Updated: July 2014