Today, the National Institutes of Health published NOT-OD-12-110, which describes a pilot to evaluate special council reviews investigator-initiated grants and cooperative agreement applications from PD/PIs with more than $1.5 million in annual NIH support. The goal is not to impose a cap on funding for any single investigator, but is to ensure adequate consideration is given to “[effective management] of resources during austere times”.
“During the current round of May IC Council meetings, NIH will be piloting the procedures whereby Council members will be asked to provide additional consideration of new and renewal applications from well-supported investigators who currently receive more than $1.5 million in Research Project Grants (RPGs). These RPGs are generally investigator-initiated research projects rather than NIH’s other grant programs which include support for investigator training and career development and center grants. In addition to the common R01 grant program, the RPG level includes cooperative agreements (example: U01) and subproject costs where an investigator is a sub-project leader on a Program Project Grant (P01) or other multi-project RPG award. Multiple PD/PI projects are also proportionally included in determining the $1.5 million level for a specific PD/PI.”
Applications for RFAs, most P01 and other multi=project RPGs and most multiple PI applications will not receive special council review. If NIH decides to implement this special council review procedure fully after this pilot, additional details and an FAQ will be posted.