- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
A Flat Budget for NIH in 2013
13 February 2012 5:13 pm
There's little to cheer biomedical researchers in the president's budget proposal released today: the proposal would hold the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) budget at the current level of $30.86 billion.
While the budgets of most of NIH's 27 institutes are remaining flat, NIH would move some money around through "prioritization," said NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak after a press briefing today. The agency wants to add $64 million, an 11% increase, to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The increase would include $40 million more for the Cures Acceleration Network (now funded at $10 million).
To free up these funds, NIH wants to cut $51 million from the IDeA program, which are grants for states that get relatively little NIH funding and that are administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Last year Congress gave NIH a large increase over what it had requested, so it was a place to trim, Tabak said. Another $28 million cut will come from the now-$194 million budget of the National Children's Study budget within the Office of the Director. The massive study that plans to track the health of 100,000 children into adulthood has found ways to save money by changing recruitment strategies and using "existing infrastructure," Tabak said.
In order to squeeze more grants out of the flat budget—the target is an 8% increase in new grants, to 672, for a total of 9415--NIH will put in place new grant management policies. Continuing grants will be cut 1% below the 2012 level, competing grants wouldn't get inflationary increases in future years, and NIH will add a new layer of review for proposals from investigators who already have at least $1.5 million in funding.
Still, the success rate is projected to bump up only slightly from this year's all-time low of 18% to 19%, NIH says. And although new grants will rise, the overall number of funded grants will actually drop by 56 to 35,888.
Tabak pointed to the positive: "I think that this budget enables us to support an increase in the number of new and competing grants—it's up 8%. This budget allows us to continue the implementation of NCATs which we feel is very important. And this budget allows us to continue our priorities in basic sciences, innovative science, and of course support for new investigators."
But advocates of biomedical research were disappointed. "Overall, we're aware of the overall budget situation, but we're still very concerned about the proposed freeze," says David Moore, senior director of government relations for the Association of American Medical Colleges. It would be the 10th year in a row that NIH's budget has not kept pace with biomedical research inflation, he says. As a result, in inflation-adjusted dollars, "we'd be 20% below where we were a decade ago," Moore says.
A new $80 million for Alzheimer's research that was announced last week is not coming from NIH's budget, but from the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is a pot of money created by the 2010 health care law. Tabak said NIH does not know if the funding is for 1 year only or would continue in future years.
Correction: The proposed cut to the Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) program is $51 million, not $48 million.