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FY2012 Fiscal Operations Plan

October 1 October 4, 2011
The NIH operated under a Continuing Resolution (CR) PL 112-33, at the limit set by the debt limit law (PL 112-25) enacted in August.

October 4 November 18, 2011
This CR continued government operations at the FY2011 level minus 1.5%. The NIH issued non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). Upward adjustments will be considered after a FY2012 appropriation is enacted, but institutions are expected to monitor their expenditures carefully during this period. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-004.

November 19 December 16, 2011
The third CR continues government operations at the FY2011 level minus 1.5%. The NIH will continue operations as described above. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-017.html

December 17, 2011
A one-day CR.

December 18 December 23, 2011
Operations continue as before.

December 24, 2011September 30, 2012
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (.L. 112-74) provided the NIH with funding of $30,689,000,000, which is $299M above the FY2011 level (+0.97%). The NEI appropriation was $702,512,162, a $1.69M increase (+0.24%) from the FY2011 level.

Overview of NEI Extramural Funding Operations:

Non-competing Awards
Continuing projects will be funded following the published implementation details at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-036.html NEI will issue all awards at the FY2011 awarded level, less any one time expenses (such as equipment). Annual inflationary increments will be no longer be provided. Any awards issued during the period of the Continuing Resolutions will be revised upward to be congruent with this policy.

Competing Awards
Research Project Grants (RPG): This category includes the R01, R15, R21, and DP2 grant mechanisms. NEI expects to fund a total of 305 projects (compared with 278 in FY2011, a 9.7% increase). The average total cost of these awards will be $409,456, compared with $417,703 in FY2011, a decrease of 2%. No annual inflationary increment will be provided in future years. The NEI will continue its policies of maintaining an RPG portfolio average length of 4.0 years and of supporting new investigators on R01 equivalent awards at a success rate equivalent to that of established investigators submitting new R01 equivalent applications. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-013.html and http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/new_investigators/index.htm.

Resetting R01 Grant Start Dates: In some cases, the NEI may need to shorten the duration of the first year of a grant. Given the unusually late start of the Continuing Resolutions in recent budget years, the NEI has been funding most of its competitive grants in the second half of the fiscal year. When too many grants accumulate close to the end of a fiscal year, it is difficult to fund all the grants in the portfolio by September 30. NEI staff may run out of time, may have to work through budget problems, or grantees may have trouble meeting necessary administrative requirements. Resetting some grant start dates makes sure that the NEI staff has sufficient time to release all awards. In general, this policy affects only R01 awards with four to five year budget periods. NEI staff will contact affected PIs to explain the time and budget consequences of a reset. Individual cases are selected to minimize any impact on scientific progress.

RPG Grant Duration Policy: NEI maintains an average RPG grant length of approximately four years, in order to assure a uniform annual budget to pay for new grants. To achieve this goal, NEI funds roughly equal numbers of five-, four-, and three-/two-year awards. In selecting grants for a time reduction, NEI staff considers a number of factors, including: scientific priority as expressed in the National Plan for Vision Research, other support, new investigator status, scientific and technical merit, and intrinsic time requirements for the work proposed.

Other Grant Mechanisms: NEI anticipates that the numbers of Small Business, Center Core Grant, Career Development, training awards, translational, and cooperative clinical research awards will remain relatively constant compared with the FY2011 levels.

Last Updated: June 2012