FYI from the NHLBI Index

January 2009: Vol. 9, Issue 3
Feature Articles

NIH's New RCDC System

NIH's New RCDC System - A Brief Overview

The NIH is preparing to launch the new RCDC (Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization) public reporting Web site, which will provide a detailed account of NIH funding in 215 categorical areas.

The RCDC system uses a computerized process to identify grants, contracts, and intramural research projects that are relevant to specified research areas, conditions, and diseases. The system applies consistent definitions across all of the NIH's 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs), in contrast to the previous approach in which each IC categorized the research it funded according to its own definitions. Congress mandated the system change, which has been enabled by advances in data- and text-mining computer technology. The RCDC system generates an NIH-wide report for Congress and the public on the 215 categories.

You may notice differences from previous years in the reported funding for your area(s) of interest. If so, please keep in mind that the difference is a reflection of the change in the reporting approach rather than a sudden change in NIH appropriations or priorities. Also please note that as with the previous reporting approach, the numbers generated by the RCDC system will not add up to (and will almost certainly exceed) the total NIH budget because research projects typically fall under more than one category.

RCDC system benefits include consistent, transparent funding figures and a more useful organization of research projects. In addition, visitors to the RCDC Web site will be able to see all of the research projects in a particular category as well as detailed information about each project, such its funding level, title, NIH support mechanism (i.e., grant, contract, or intramural project), principal investigator(s), research institution at which it is to be conducted, NIH project identifier number, and funding IC.

The RCDC Web site ( contains more information on the categorization process, frequently asked questions, and a contact email where you may direct questions. The RCDC funding data will be found on the new RePORT (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool) Web site (

Modified 1/22/09
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