NIH Fact Sheet Lays Out Sequester Impact

Jocelyn is a staff writer for Science magazine.

Three months after Congress approved mandatory across-the-board 5% budget cuts due to sequestration, the National Institutes of Health today described in grim detail how it is absorbing the loss of $1.55 billion. "NIH must apply the cut evenly across all programs, projects, and activities (PPAs), which are primarily NIH institutes and centers. This means every area of medical research will be affected," a fact sheet states.

It lists several figures, some of which were described earlier in agency budget documents and notices. The agency will make around 700 fewer grants; it will freeze training stipends; and it expects to admit 750 fewer patients the NIH clinical center. About one in six grant proposals will be funded, or 17%. Already awarded, ongoing grants will be cut by an average of -4.7%.

Intramural research must absorb the 5% cut in less than 6 months, a "substantial" impact, the fact sheet says. However, NIH does not expect to furlough employees but will find savings by freezing hiring and reducing service contracts.

As ScienceInsider previously reported, exactly how these cuts will affect labs will unfold over months and may be difficult to disentangle from the effects of over 10 years of flat NIH budgets.

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