This is a tough budget time for all federal organizations. NIH is among them, having experienced a relatively flat budget for the past seven years and facing a continuation of this pattern or perhaps even declining budgets for 2012 and beyond. As we consider how to continue to fund outstanding biomedical research during austere times, we are weighing various options, including looking closely at the way we manage NIH resources. As part of the deliberation process, we have put together information on some funding scenarios, such as limiting the number of research program grant awards per investigator, the total amount of awards per investigator, the size of awards, or the amount of salary support paid by NIH.
The biomedical research enterprise is a partnership between NIH and the extramural community, and we don’t expect to make any changes to our processes without an in-depth discussion with you. We are interested in your ideas about how best to manage in complex budgetary times. We have posted the information we gathered about the various options on the OER website. I encourage you to take a look at the data. There are even some interactive graphs where you can visualize the effect of the various options. Then let us know what you think. As always, you are welcome to comment here on the blog, and we’ve also set up an email box specifically to receive feedback on these issues, NIHResourceManagement@nih.gov.
Your feedback is going to be vital as we move forward on what could be a bumpy terrain. Hopefully, we can have smooth sailing with your creative ideas providing the wind!