Open Mike

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NIH Budget Highlights for 2016

As you’ve likely heard in the news, NIH received an increase of $2 billion over its 2015 fiscal year budget. With the passage of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 114-113), signed by President Obama on December 18, NIH has $32.31 billion in budget authority for FY2016. The passage of this budget is good news for the support of ongoing NIH-supported research projects, as well as for the future of biomedical research, as it includes a number of provisions to increase trainee stipends and funding for training through the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSAs).

Last week, NIH announced its fiscal operations, salary support, and trainee stipend plans in a series of NIH Guide notices. As described in “NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards – FY 2016” (NOT-OD-16-046), the plan for most NIH funding institutes and centers will be to fully restore any reductions made to already-issued FY2016 non-competing awards. (A few individual ICs have indicated that they will modify this general plan to fit the needs of their mission, so we encourage you to visit the funding strategy website for the IC funding your research.) In addition, non-competing grants that remain to be issued in FY 2016 will generally be made at the level indicated on the Notice of Award. We will be posting links to ICs’ specific funding strategies on our extramural fiscal operations page on grants.nih.gov as their plans are updated and available.

As before, NIH will continue its commitment to new investigators by supporting their R01-equivalent applications at success rates comparable to that of established investigators submitting new (Type 1) R01-equivalent applications.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act increases NRSA stipend levels by approximately 2 percent on average postdoctoral trainees and fellows. As before, stipend levels for postdocs will increase to reflect the number of years of postdoctoral training experience of the trainee. Full details are provided in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-16-047.

Last week’s announcements also summarizes and links to the FY2016 salary limits for individuals receiving their salaries from an NIH grant, cooperative agreement, or contracts, as well as the legislative mandates in place for FY2016. I encourage you to review these notices, and, if you have questions on how these announcements affect your awards, reach out to your grants management contact specified on your Notice of Award.

Edit: On January 28, NIH issued a new NIH Guide notice (NOT-OD-16-059) to correct salary limit information. The hyperlink for salary limits was changed on January 29 to this updated notice. – Open Mike Blog Team 

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