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President Issues FY2010 Budget Proposing 1.4 Percent Increase in NIH Funding, One Percent Increase in NEI Funding, Per NEI Congressional Justification

Legislative Update
May 7, 2009

Today, the Obama Administration released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 proposed federal budget which provides the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a $443 million, or 1.4 percent, increase over FY2009. It assumes a final FY2009 NIH funding level of $30.395 billion and requests $30.838 billion (net of transfers) for FY2010. It proposes to support 9,849 new Research Project Grants (RPGs), an increase of seven RPGs over the FY2009 estimate of 9,842. The total number of RPGs is projected to be 38,042, compared with 38,871 estimated for FY2009 and 38,162 in FY2008. NIH estimates an FY2010 success rate of 20 percent, holding steady with the FY2009 estimated success rate of 20 percent. The budget provides an inflationary increase of two percent for non-competing continuations; the average cost of new grants will rise by two percent above FY2009. These numbers are absent the $10.4 billion appropriated to NIH as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The National Eye Institute (NEI) is proposed to be funded at $695.789 million, an increase of $7.309 million, or one percent, over the FY2009 funding level of $688.48 million. The NEI has posted its Congressional Justification (CJ) on its Web site, which states that:

  • NEI will continue to support new investigators while maintaining an adequate number of RPGs. NEI will support 1,107 RPGs in FY2010, an increase of 18 grants and $5.846 million. Noncompeting RPGs will increase by 50 awards and increase by $20.144 million; competing RPGs will decrease by 33 awards and decrease by $10.962 million.

  • NEIís Intramural Research funding will increase by 1.5 percent, consistent with NIH policy. NEI will use this funding to support a new program in computational medicine and biology.
The CJ also provides a narrative that describes recent NEI research results.

The Presidentís budget is usually a launching point for Congressional action on the appropriations bills that will fund the government. In mid-April, Congress passed a conference Budget Resolution that sets the framework for the spending allocations provided to Congressional appropriations subcommittees. It is important to note that the discretionary spending category, in which the NIH is funded, is $10 billion higher in the Presidentís budget than in the Congressional Budget Resolution.

NAEVR is urging Congress to increase NIH/NEI funding by 7 percent in FY2010 over FY2009 to re-build the NIH base. In the FY2009 funding cycle, NIH/NEI funding was increased by 3.2 percent, which just barely matched the biomedical inflation rate.

NAEVR has issued a statement calling on Congress to improve upon the Obama Administrationís proposed funding for the NIH/NEI.