NIH Policy

05/05/17

Dear Colleagues,

As you may be aware, NIH has announced a new policy related to a new approach to grant funding that may result in capping the amount of NIH funding to individual investigators.  Dr. Collins’ statement on this can be found at: https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/new-nih-approach-grant-funding-aimed-optimizing-stewardship-taxpayer-dollars.

The new policy was reported in Science and Nature:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/nih-impose-grant-cap-free-funds-more-investigators

 https://www.nature.com/news/nih-to-limit-the-amount-of-grant-money-a-scientist-can-receive-1.21930

Many aspects related to the implementation of this policy have yet to be developed, and Penn faculty and administration are actively involved in relevant discussions at the national level.  For example, I will be traveling to the NIH later this month for a meeting of the Director’s Council of Councils to discuss this matter.  We will follow closely the details of how each NIH Institute plans to put this policy into action, and I encourage those of you with input or opinions to speak with your NIH and government contacts and also to convey your thoughts to me.

At the same time, we are delighted that the proposed cuts to the NIH budget have been averted and that the bipartisan congressional support for NIH research has resulted in an increase of $2B, rather than a decrease, in the NIH budget this fiscal year.   

At Penn, funding from the NIH continues to increase, thanks to the outstanding work of our faculty and trainees.  At the same time, we have successfully pursued alternative funding sources producing an increasingly diversified research portfolio.   We are well positioned to continue to produce cutting edge discoveries as one of the leading academic medical centers in the world.

Jon