FY 2010 FUNDING AND OPERATING GUIDELINES

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

September 7, 2010

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

Except as provided under limited circumstances outlined in the NHLBI document Commitment to Early Stage Investigators, new investigators (NI) who do not qualify as early stage investigators (ESI) will no longer be routinely considered for special funding status beginning with awards made in FY 2010.

The NHLBI will continue a commitment to help ESIs by a policy of maintaining separate paylines for new competing (Type 1) R01 and First Renewal (Type 2) applications in accordance with NIH guidelines. Regardless of amendment status, the paylines for new competing (Type 1) and First Renewal (Type 2) ESI R01 applications will be 5 percentile points above the regular R01 paylines for unamended (A0) applications in FY 2010. In addition and also regardless of amendment status, new competing (Type 1) ESI R01 applications that are >5 but <=10 percentile points above the regular R01 paylines for unamended (A0) applications in FY 2010 may undergo an expedited review to resolve comments in the summary statement.  The funding policies will apply to all new competing (Type 1) and First Renewal (Type 2) ESI R01 applications under special funding consideration regardless of the amendment status of the application.  All awards to ESI applicants under this policy will be funded for all years recommended by the NHLBAC. The most recent NIH policy on ESIs can be found at the following link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-121.html.

Please note that the NHLBI considers both NI and ESI status to have been determined at the time of the initial A0 grant application submission.  If an applicant would have qualified for ESI status at the time of the A0 application submission, that status would be maintained through to the A1 and A2 revisions. Similarly, if an applicant would have qualified for NI status at the A0 submission, when the NHLBI had a payline advantage for NIs (i.e., for funding prior to FY 2010), the NI status (and the associated payline advantage) would also be maintained through to the A1 and A2 revisions.

FUNDING GUIDELINES

In order to fund meritorious science earlier, the NHLBI has adopted a new funding policy that decreases the need for investigators and universities to submit revised applications. The Institute will develop separate lists ranking applications according to amendment status, resulting in comparable success rates for both unamended (A0) and amended (A1/A2) applications. A more extensive discussion of this new funding policy can be found at the following site: "Translating NIH Peer Review Changes into Funding Policies."

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/U01     Research Project Grant
A0
16.0
 
A1
12.0
 
A2
10.0
 
 
 
R03/R21
16.0
   
R15  
30
Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA)
P01
26
Program Project Grant
P01 Subproject
35
Program Project: Subproject

SBIR

35
Small Business Innovation Research Grant
STTR
32
Small Business Technology Transfer Grant
K awards
40
Career Development Award
T awards
53
Institutional NRSA Training
F30
25
Pre-doctoral NRSA
F31, F32
30.0
Pre and Post-doctoral NRSA

Salary Cap:

The FY2010 salary for individuals under an NIH grant or cooperative agreement is established by statute at $199,700. Information regarding the applicable law can be found at the following link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-041.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 2010 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 research project grants (RPGs) in accordance with the NIH Fiscal Policy for FY2010 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-039.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 2009 budget period in the Notice of Award for the previous budget period.

Research project grants with direct costs greater than $250K will be awarded at 98% of the amount indicated for the FY 2010 budget period in the Notice of Award for the previous budget year. Future year commitments will reflect a 1% reduction. (RPGs include the R01, R03, R21, R33, R24/25s, R35, R37, U01, and U19 mechanisms.) The practice will not apply to P01, P30, P50, UH1, U10, U24, and U54 mechanisms in FY 2010.

Funds will be restored as appropriate for FY 2010 awards previously made at the 90% provisional amount. Fellowship (F), Training (T), and Career Development (K) awards will be awarded at the full FY 2010 commitment levels, as will R13, R15, SBIR/STTR, and T15 mechanisms. Awards made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are not included in this policy.

Future Year Commitments on FY 2010 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 and 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 after 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 grants awarded to early stage investigators or for awards recommended for four years or less. Please note that amended applications (i.e., A1s and A2s) will be reduced by one year, regardless of the priority score or percentile accorded the application.

 

Summary Table: NHLBI Funding of Type 1 R01s from Early Stage Investigators

For All ESI A0/A1/A2 Applications  ESI
Payline:5 percentile points above the regular R01 A0 payline, regardless of the amendment status of the ESI application

Yes

Expedited Review:to resolve comments in the summary statement if >5 but <=10 percentile to resolve comments in the summary statement if >5 but <=10 percentile

Yes

Duration of Grants

Funded for all years recommended




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