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FY 2008 Funding and Operating Guidelines

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

August 7, 2008

Archive Edition

For reference, the following editions are available:

FY 2013 Archive
FY 2012 Archive
FY 2011 Archive
FY 2010 Archive
FY 2009 Archive
FY 2008 Archive

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.

The paylines in the table below are for planning purposes. No announcements or commitments should be made by investigators until an official Notice of Award is received by their institution's business office. Investigators should track the status of their applications in the NIH Commons and consult this site for updates on the Institute's funding guidelines. Individual notifications will not be made unless an application constitutes an exception to these guidelines. Questions regarding an individual application should be directed to the Program Officer for that application.

New Investigators

The NHLBI commitment to helping new investigators is demonstrated by a policy of maintaining a separate NHLBI New Investigator Payline for new competing (Type 1) R01 and First Renewal (Type 2) applications on which all named principal investigators are new investigators. The NHLBI New Investigator Payline is 5 percentile points above the regular R01 payline for FY 2008. All awards made under this policy will be funded for all years recommended. In addition, new R01 applications on which all named principal investigators are new investigators that are > 5 but <= 10 percentile points above the regular R01 payline may undergo an expedited administrative review to resolve comments in the summary statement.

Please note that some individuals who qualify as New Investigators according to the NIH definition (see: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/index.htm#definition ) may not qualify for being within the NHLBI New Investigator Payline. In particular, individuals who are or have been a project director on a sub-project of an NIH multi-project award are not eligible for funding under the NHLBI New Investigator Payline. In order for investigators to be considered for this NHLBI priority funding, they must meet of the ALL following criteria:

  1. Not previously a principal investigator (PI) on an NIH Independent Scientist and/or other non-mentored NIH career award or an R01 or a project director on a sub-project on an NIH multi-project award
  2. Not previously a PI on more than one R21, R03, or R15
  3. Currently holding a position at a domestic institution with a faculty rank up to and including an Associate Professor or equivalent

New Investigator First Renewal

The NHLBI is also committed to helping new investigators who are applying for their first competing renewal (Type 2) R01. The NHLBI New Investigator First Renewal payline is 5 percentile points above the regular R01 payline for FY 2008.

In order for new investigators to be considered for this NHLBI priority funding, they must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Not previously or currently a PI on an NIH Independent Scientist and/or other non-mentored NIH career award or on another R01 or a sub-project director on an NIH multi-project award
  2. Currently holding a position at a domestic institution with a faculty rank up to and including an Associate Professor or equivalent

FUNDING AND OPERATING GUIDELINES

The NHLBI will use the following guidelines for funding RPGs in FY 2008:

Paylines in percentile or priority score:

Grant Program

Percentile

Priority Score

Description

R01, R21

16 .0

 

Research Project Grant

R01 New Investigator

21 .0

 

Research Project Grant (Type 1)

R01 New Investigator
26.0
 

Research Project Grants (Type 1): if expedited administrative review resolves summary statement comments

R01 New Investigator First Renewal
21 .0
  Research Project Grant (Type 2)

P01

 

150

Program Project Grant

P01 Subproject

 

170

Program Project: Subproject

SBIR  
190
Small Business Innovation Research Grant
STTR  
180
Small Business Technology Transfer Grant
K awards  
165
Career Development Award
T awards  
172
Institutional NRSA Training
F31, F32
40.0
  Pre and Post-doctoral NRSA

Salary Cap:

The FY 2008 salary cap for individuals under an NIH grant or cooperative agreement was established by statute at $191,300. Information regarding the applicable law can be found at the following link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-035.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.

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 2008 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.

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 Financial Policy for FY2008 ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-036.html ) . Under the discretion extended to each NIH Institute and Center, NHLBI non-competing awards with direct costs less than or equal to $250K will be awarded at the amount indicated for the FY 2008 budget period in the Notice of Award for the previous budget period.

All other RPGs with direct costs greater than $250K will be awarded at 98% of the amount indicated for the FY 2008 budget period in the Notice of Award for the previous budget year. Future year budget periods will be reduced for grants that include inflation in the outyear commitments. RPGs include the R01, R03, R21, R33, R24/25s, R35, R37, P01, U01, and U19 mechanisms. The practice will also apply to all P30, P50, U10, U24, and U54 mechanisms in FY 2008.

Funds will be restored as appropriate for FY 2008 awards previously made at the 80% provisional amount. Fellowship (F), Training (T), and Career Development (K) awards will be awarded at the full FY 2008 commitment levels, as will D43, R13, R15, SBIR/STTR, T15 and UH1 mechanisms.

Future Year Commitments on FY 2008 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 new investigators or in awards recommended for less than four years.

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