FY 2010 Funding Strategy for Research Grants
Grants Funding Policy
As noted in the NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards – FY 2010 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-039.html), the NIMH presents its FY 2010 Funding Strategy. For research grants awarded during the period October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will use the following guidelines for the payment of grant awards.
Non-Competing Continuation Grants
NIMH will fund all years at 98.5 percent of the amount shown on the Notice of Award for the previous year, except for grant types that will be fully funded: modular awards, Recovery Act awards, fellowships, research dissertation awards, training grants, career development awards, and small business awards (SBIR and STTR).
New, Competing Renewal, and Competing Supplement Grants
In general, NIMH assumes that research applications that fall below the 20th percentile are scientifically meritorious and that sufficient funds are available to support up to 80 percent of these new and competing research applications. Council and program staff may selectively recommend payment of grants that fall in this range, as well as beyond, based on: 1) Institute and division priorities; 2) balance in the existing research portfolio; 3) early stage new investigator status (see below); and 4) availability of funds. Additional priorities include: first time grantees applying for their first renewal with the goal of avoiding serious attrition or closure of new laboratories; and, established grantees with insufficient other support with the goal of avoiding the loss of outstanding laboratories.
Non-Modular and Modular Awards: Non-modular competing awards may be reduced on average by 10 percent from Initial Review Group (IRG) recommended levels in an effort to fund the most number of applications possible. This is an average total reduction to all grants funded: not an across-the-board reduction to each grant funded, so some grants could be reduced by more or less than this amount. This general policy for reductions does not apply to modular competing awards, Research Career (K awards), Research Fellowship (F awards), Research Training Grant (T awards), SBIR, or STTR awards, although these awards may be reduced on a case by case basis as recommended by Council or program staff.
Early Stage Investigators: NIMH is committed to supporting new investigators and facilitating the independence of emerging scientists. The Institute considers early stage new investigator status--new Investigators who are within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree or within 10 years of completing their medical residency at the time they apply for R01 grants—as a priority in funding decisions. This means that a research grant from a new and/or early stage investigator may be funded out of order and at percentile scores the same or higher than grants not selected for payment from established investigators. We strongly encourage early stage investigators to contact a program officer in their area of research to receive technical assistance with their application prior to submission.
Research Training and Career Development Awards: NIMH is committed to research training that prepares junior and early-to-midcareer scientists to conduct innovative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in areas of program relevance. Given the lower rate of increase in the research budget compared to recent years, NIMH has determined that it is important to strike a strategic balance between building the pipeline of potential new investigators and maintaining a viable pay line to support research projects. We will continue to invest significant funds to train investigators in areas highly relevant to the Institute's mission. If the number of incoming applications remains stable in FY 2010, the success rate for institutional training grants (T32) will remain about the same as in FY 2009. The success rate for career development awards (K awards) and individual fellowships (F30, F31, F32) also will remain about the same as in FY 2009.