In May 1998, the NIGMS Council adopted operating procedures regarding support of research in well-funded laboratories (defined as those with over $750,000 in direct costs for research support at the time of the Council meeting, inclusive of the initial review group-recommended level for the pending application after staff cuts have been applied). Prior to the Council meeting at which the application will be reviewed, investigators must provide staff with a complete just-in-time list of all other active and pending research support. Staff evaluates this support and makes recommendations to the Council about funding. If the Council does not concur with a staff recommendation for funding, the grant will not be funded.
For both renewal (Type 2) and new (Type 1) grant applications from well-funded laboratories, the Council expects the Institute to support projects only if they are highly promising and distinct from other funded work in the laboratory and only when the principal investigator has sufficient time to commit to overseeing the totality of his/her laboratory's research activities. The Council also expects the Institute to implement, where appropriate, reasoned budget reductions greater than average for awards made to laboratories with somewhat less than $750,000 in direct costs.
Because research funds are limited and many outstanding biomedical scientists are deserving of support, NIGMS believes that, to sustain the research enterprise and maximize opportunities for significant scientific advances, it is essential to have a diverse research portfolio with a wide array of investigators and topics. Awarding R01s and other research grants to investigators with substantial levels of long-term, unrestricted research funding requires careful consideration, because these researchers already have resources from other agencies or organizations that support overall research programs rather than individual projects. Although moderate levels of additional research funding to such well-supported investigators can in some instances produce significant returns on NIGMS’ investment, these investments need to be carefully managed to ensure that the Institute’s research portfolio is optimally diversified and that it can support as many talented and productive research groups as possible.
In advising potential applicants and making funding decisions, NIGMS staff carefully considers each investigator’s overall research support, including institutional support.
Investigators with substantial, long-term, unrestricted research support may generally hold no more than one NIGMS research grant. For the purposes of these guidelines, investigators with substantial, long-term, unrestricted support (“unrestricted investigators”) would have at least $400,000 in unrestricted support (direct costs per year excluding the principal investigator’s salary and direct support of widely shared institutional resources, such as NMR facilities) that extends at least 2 years beyond the onset of funding the NIGMS grant. As in all cases, if NIGMS funding of a grant to an investigator with substantial, long-term, unrestricted support would result in total direct costs from all sources exceeding $750,000, National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council approval would be required through the standard process.
In keeping with federal grants administration statutes, regulations and policies, unrestricted investigators under consideration to receive new or continuing support from NIGMS must provide a detailed, accurate accounting of all their research support, including unrestricted support. When reporting other support, investigators should describe their other research projects in sufficient detail that NIGMS staff and Council members can determine the differences between the proposed NIGMS project and research supported by other sources. Investigators are encouraged to explain any appearance of overlapping research goals and should report the time commitment to each existing project.
Unrestricted research support is monetary support from any agency, organization or institution that is not project-based and may be used to conduct research on a broad topic at the discretion of the principal investigator. Investigators with unrestricted research support include but are not limited to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, holders of endowed chairs that fund an undefined research project or projects, recipients of unrestricted gifts designed to support research, and staff at scientific institutes that provide long-term research funding (not including start-up funds). Such support is defined as unrestricted if it extends for at least 2 years from the time of funding the NIGMS grant.
unrestricted investigator is an investigator with unrestricted research support.
Substantial research support is $400,000 or more per year in direct costs excluding the principal investigator’s salary and direct support of widely shared institutional resources.
Long-term refers to research support that extends at least 2 years from the time an NIGMS grant would be awarded.
This page last reviewed on
12/3/2019 11:22 AM
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