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FY 2014 Congressional Justification

FY 2014 Budget

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

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Organization Chart

Organization of the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Office of the Director: James F. Battey Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Director; Judith Cooper, Ph.D., Deputy Director. Attached to the Office of the Director is the Office of Administration Timoth Wheeles, Directory. Also attached are three divisions: The Division of Intramural Research (Andrew Griffith, M.D.,Ph.D., Director), the Division of Scientific Programs (Judith Cooper, Ph.D., Director), and the Division of Extramural Activities (Craig Jordan, Ph.D., Director).

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Appropriation Language

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

For carrying out section 301 and title IV of the PHS Act with respect to deafness and other
communication disorders, $422,936,000. 

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Amounts Available for Obligation
(Dollars in Thousands)
Source of Funding FY 2012
Actual
FY 2013
CR
FY 2014
PB
1. Excludes the following amounts for reimbursable activities carried out by this account: FY 2012 - $2,064 FY 2013 - $2,750 FY 2014 - $2,750
Appropriation 417,061 418,820 422,936
Rescission (788) 0 0
Subtotal, adjusted appropriation 416,273 418,820 422,936
Secretary's Transfer for Alzheimer's disease (AD) (274) 0 0
Secretary's Transfer for AIDS authorized by PL 112-74 Section 206 (119) 0 0
Comparative Transfers to NLM for NCBI and Public Access (380) (492) 0
Subtotal, adjusted budget authority 415,500 418,328 422,936
Unobligated balance, start of year 0 0 0
Unobligated balance, end of year 0 0 0
Subtotal, adjusted budget authority 415,500 418,328 422,936
Unobligated balance lapsing 0 0 0
Total obligations 415,500 418,328 422,936

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Budget Mechanism—Total*
(Dollars in Thousands)
MECHANISM FY 2012 Actual FY 2013 CR FY 2014 PB Change vs. FY 2012
No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount
*All items in italics and brackets are "non-adds."
Research Grants
Research Projects:
Noncompeting 632 $225,201 623 $224,131 605 $220,058 -27 -5,143
Administrative Supplements (43) 1,348 (24) 1,000 (24) 1,000 -(19) -348
Competing:
Renewal 51 21,219 57 23,715 59 24,573 8 3,354
New 133 40,009 148 44,264 153 45,912 20 5,903
Supplements 1 191 0 0 0 0 -1 -191
Subtotal, Competing 185 $61,419 205 $67,979 212 $70,485 27 $9,066
Subtotal, RPGs 817 $287,968 828 $293,110 817 $291,543 0 $3,575
SBIR/STTR 29 10,454 32 11,000 34 11,600 5 1,146
Research Project Grants 846 $298,422 860 $304,110 851 $303,143 5 $4,721
Research Centers:
Specialized/Comprehensive 22 15,013 22 15,000 22 15,000 0 -13
Clinical Research 1 143 1 160 1 160 0 17
Biotechnology 0 500 0 500 0 500 0 0
Comparative Medicine 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Research Centers in Minority Institutions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Research Centers 23 $15,656 23 $15,660 23 $15,660 0 $4
Other Research:
Research Careers 28 4,836 35 6,200 38 6,800 10 1,964
Cancer Education 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cooperative Clinical Research 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Biomedical Research Support 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Minority Biomedical Research Support 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 26 4,232 26 4,550 26 4,550 0 318
Other Research 54 $9,068 61 $10,750 64 $11,350 10 $2,282
Total Research Grants 923 $323,145 944 $330,520 938 $330,153 15 $7,008
Ruth L. Kirschstein Training Awards: FTTPs FTTPs FTTPs FTTPs
Individual Awards 110 4,515 122 5,000 124 5,200 14 685
Institutional Awards 198 9,068 179 8,200 179 8,383 -19 -685
Total Research Training 308 $13,583 301 $13,200 303 $13,583 -5 0
Research & Development Contracts 37 20,652 34 17,008 34 19,600 -3 -1,052
SBIR/STTR (non-add) (0) (22) (0) (25) (0) (25) 0 +(3)
  FTEs   FTEs   FTEs   FTEs  
Intramural Research 68 $38,000 70 37,500 70 39,500 2 1,500
Research Management and Support 67 20,121 76 20,100 76 20,100 9 -21
Construction 0 0 0 0
Buildings and Facilities 0 0 0 0
Total, NIDCD 135 $415,500 146 $418,328 146 $422,936 11 $7,436

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Major Changes in the Fiscal Year 2014 President's Budget Request

Major changes by budget mechanism and/or budget activity detail are briefly described below.  Note that there may be overlap between budget mechanism and activity detail and these highlights will not sum to the total change for the FY 2014 President’s Budget request for NIDCD, which is $7.4 million more than the FY 2012 Actual level, for a total of $422.9 million.

Research Project Grants (+$4.721 million; total $303.143 million).  NIDCD will support a total of 851 Research Project Grant (RPG) awards in FY 2014.  Noncompeting RPGs will decrease by 27 awards and $5.143 million.  Competing RPGs will increase by 27 awards and $9.066 million.   

Research Centers (+$0.004 million; total $15.660 million). Research Centers will maintain the same number of awards at 23 and increase by $0.004 million.

Other Research (+$2.282 million; total $11.350 million).  Research Careers will increase by 10 awards and increase by $1.964 million.

Research Training (+$0.0 million; total $13.583 million).  Funding for Research Training will remain constant, and Full-time Training Positions decrease by five.  Stipends for predoctoral fellows and trainees will increase to $22,473, an increase of 2 percent.  For entry level postdoctoral fellows and trainees, the stipend level will increase to $42,000, and will increase 4 percent with each additional year of experience. 

Research & Development Contracts ($-1.052 million; total $19.60 million).  Three fewer contracts will be awarded in FY 2014.   Funds are included in R&D contracts to support trans-NIH initiatives, such as Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet).

Intramural Research (+$1.50 million; total $39.50 million).  Intramural Research will receive a $1.500 million increase for costs related to occupying the new Porter Neuroscience Research Center II facility, and the decommissioning of NIDCD’s rental facility in Rockville, Maryland.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Summary of Changes
(Dollars in Thousands)
FY 2012 Actual $415,500
FY 2014 President's Budget $422,936
Net change $7,436
 
CHANGES 2014
President's Budget
Change from FY 2012
FTEs Budget Authority FTEs Budget Authority
A. Built-in:
1. Intramural Research:
a. Annualization of March 2013 pay increase & benefits $12,051 $31
b. January FY 2014 pay increase & benefits 12,051 89
c. One more day of pay 12,051 46
d. Differences attributable to change in FTE 12,051 0
e. Payment for centrally furnished services 5,878 106
f. Increased cost of laboratory supplies, materials, other expenses, and non-recurring costs 21,571 43
Subtotal   $315
2. Research Management and Support:
a. Annualization of March 2013 pay increase & benefits $10,920 $28
b. January FY 2014 pay increase & benefits 10,920 81
c. One more day of pay 10,920 41
d. Differences attributable to change in FTE 10,920 0
e. Payment for centrally furnished services 3,452 62
f. Increased cost of laboratory supplies, materials, other expenses, and non-recurring costs 5,728 0
Subtotal $212
Subtotal, Built-in $527

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Summary of Changes (continued)
CHANGES 2014 President's Budget Change from FY 2012
Number Amount Number Amount
B. Program:
1. Research Project Grants:
a. Noncompeting 605 $221,508 -27 -5,491
b. Competing 212 70,485 27 9,066
c. SBIR/STTR 34 11,600 5 1,146
Total 851 $303,143 5 $4,721
2. Research Centers 23 $15,660 0 $4
3. Other Research 64 11,350 10 2,282
4. Research Training 303 13,583 -5 0
5. Research and Development Contracts 34 19,600 -3 -1,052
Subtotal, Extramural $363,336 $5,955
6. Intramural Research 70 FTEs $39,500 2 FTEs $1,185
7. Research Management and Support 76 FTEs 20,100 9 FTEs -232
8. Construction 0 0
9. Buildings and Facilities 0 0
Subtotal, program 146 $422,936 11 $6,908
Total changes   $7,436

 

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Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Graphs

History of Budget Authority and FTE’s:

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Funding Levels by Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Dollars in Millions
2010 418.8
2011 414.5
2012 415.5
2013 418.3
2014 422.9

 


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
FTEs by Fiscal Year
FY FTEs
2010 144
2011 140
2012 135
2013 146
2014 146

 

Distribution by Mechanism:


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
FY 2014 Budget Mechanism
Mechanism Percent of Budget Dollars in Thousands
Research Project Grants 72 $303,143
Intramural Research 9 $39,500
RMS 5 $20,100
R&D Contracts 4 $19,600
Research Centers 4 $15,660
Research Training 3 $13,583
Other Research 3 $11,350

 

Change by Selected Mechanism:


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
FY 2014 Estimate Percent Change from FY 2012 Mechanism
Mechanism Percent Change
Research Project Grants 1.58
Research Centers .03
Other Research 25.17
Research Training 0
R&D Contracts -5.09
Intramural Research 3.95
Res. Mgmt. & Support -0.10

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Budget Authority by Activity
(Dollars in Thousands)
FY 2012 Actual FY 2013 CR FY 2014 PB Change vs. FY 2012
FTEs Amount FTEs Amount FTEs Amount FTEs Amount

 

1. Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.
2. Includes Transfers and Comparable Adjustments as detailed in the "Amounts Available for Obligation" table.

Extramural Research
Detail:
Hearing & Balance $204,778 $206,697 $208,192 $3,414
Taste & Smell 60,361 60,927 61,367 $1,006
Voice, Speech, & Language 92,240 93,104 93,777 $1,537
Subtotal, Extramural $357,379 $360,728 $363,336 $5,957
Intramural Research 68 $38,000 70 $37,500 70 $39,500 2 $1,500
Research Management & Support 67 $20,121 76 20,100 76 $20,100 9 ($21)
TOTAL 135 $415,500 146 $418,328 146 $422,936 11 $7,436

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Authorizing Legislation
PHS Act/Other Citation U.S. Code Citation 2013 Amount Authorized FY 2013 CR 2014 Amount Authorized FY 2014 PB
Research and Investigation Section 301 42§241 Indefinite Combined $418,328,000 Indefinite Combined $422,936,000
         
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Section 401(a) 42§281 Indefinite Indefinite
     
Total, Budget Authority $418,328,000 $422,936,000

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Appropriations History
Fiscal Year Budget Estimate to Congress House Allowance Senate Allowance Appropriation
2005 $393,507,000 $393,507,000 $399,000,000 $397,507,000
Rescission ($3,247,000)
2006 $397,432,000 $397,432,000 $418,357,000 $397,432,000
Rescission ($3,974,320)
2007 $391,556,000 $391,556,000 $395,188,000 $393,458,000
Rescission $0
2008 $393,682,000 $400,305,000 $402,680,000 $394,138,000
Rescission ($7,008,000)
Supplemental $2,096,000
2009 $395,047,000 $408,587,000 $406,000,000 $407,259,000
Rescission $0
2010 $413,026,000 $422,308,000 $414,755,000 $418,833,000
Rescission $0
2011 $429,007,000   $428,331,000 $418,833,000
Rescission ($3,677,604)
2012 $426,043,000 $426,043,000 $410,482,000 $417,061,000
Rescission ($788,245)
2013 $417,297,000 $418,562,000
Rescission  
2004 $422,936,000      
Rescission  

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Justification of Budget Request

Authorizing Legislation: Section 301 and title IV of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.

FY 2012 Actual FY 2013 CR FY 2014 President's Budget FY 2014 +/-
FY 2012
FTE BA FTE BA FTE BA FTE BA
135 $415,500,00 146 $418,328,000 146 $422,936,000 +11 +$7,436,000

 

Program funds are allocated as follows:  Competitive Grants/Cooperative Agreements; Contracts; Direct Federal/Intramural and Other.

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Director's Overview

Approximately one in six Americans will experience a communication disorder to some degree in his or her lifetime.  For those individuals, the basic components of communication (sensing, interpreting, and responding to people and things in our environment) can be challenging.  The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) manages a broad portfolio of both basic and clinical research focused on human communication research and their associated disorders in three program areas: hearing/balance, taste/smell, and voice/speech/language.

NIDCD Accomplishments.  In the past year, NIDCD has supported research activities in the following areas of communication science:

  • NIDCD-Funded Scientists Use Gene Therapy to Restore the Sense of Smell in Mice:  Problems with your sense of smell can be a symptom of a family of genetic disorders known as ciliopathies.  Ciliopathies can affect many organs, including the kidneys, the eyes, and the nose, and they are caused by defects in cellular projections called cilia.  In the olfactory system, multiple cilia project from the nose’s odor-detecting cells, known as olfactory sensory neurons.  The cilia have receptors that bind to odor-producing molecules (odorants), so a loss of cilia results in a loss in the ability to smell, a condition called anosmia.  In both mice and humans, anosmia leads to poor appetite, and the resulting lack of proper nutrition can affect overall health.  Scientists funded in part by NIDCD1 used gene therapy to enable the ability to smell in mice that were born anosmic.  The gene therapy—an example of regenerative medicine—allowed these mice’s olfactory sensory neurons to grow cilia, and the mice were able to detect odors, or “smell,” for the first time.If scientists can repeat this result using human cells, they may one day enable the ability to smell in individuals born anosmic and those who became anosmic due to injury or disease.  This basic research also brings hope that scientists will be able to restore lost or damaged cilia in individuals suffering from other ciliopathies, such as the kidney-destroying condition known as polycystic kidney disease and a blinding eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.
  • The Cocktail Party Effect: How the Brain Determines What it Needs to Focus on While Listening: We have the capability to focus on a single speaker in a noisy room with many people speaking.  How this selective listening, or cocktail party effect, happens in the brain and how people are able to distinguish intelligible speech amongst the competing noise is something that scientists have been curious about for decades.  Recently, NIDCD-supported scientists2 tested the cocktail party effect by studying several individuals who already had a thin sheet of electrodes implanted beneath the skull to obtain advanced intracranial recordings (prior to epilepsy surgery).  These recordings are so discriminating they can pick up the activity of single neurons.  By measuring the brain activity, the scientists were able to determine that their brains only responded to the attended words (or words that are meant to be focused on) and could identify the speaker.  The new findings show how the brain processes speech and how we focus only on the intended speaker.  This insight will inform future translational studies of impairment during aging, attention deficit disorder, autism, and language learning disorders, and it could even open doors for better speech recognition technologies.

NIDCD Plans, Priorities, and Challenges for the Future. NIDCD plans to continue supporting investigators who have innovative ideas and fresh perspectives and plans to maintain an adequate number of new and competing Research Project Grants.  Driven by compelling public health needs along with recent scientific progress, NIDCD prioritizes its research investment to identify the most promising opportunities for human communication research.  Regenerative medicine has been designated a high priority for FY 2014. Other NIDCD research priorities include:

  • Clinical Trials: Approximately one in six Americans will experience a communication disorder in his or her lifetime, but treatment options for many of these disorders are limited or nonexistent.  To meet this need, NIDCD has made a concerted effort to improve and expand its clinical trials program.  For example, NIDCD hired a new program officer dedicated to expanding the clinical trials grant portfolio.  The Institute published several Funding Opportunity Announcements for clinical trials and began using a novel funding mechanism that enables the program officer to work closely with grant applicants in planning the trial.  As a result, high-quality applications involving clinical trials have increased approximately three-fold over four years.  Clinical trials are a vital part of translational research, which is needed to address human communication disorders.
  • Hearing Health Care:  In a 2012 report, the U.S. Preventative Task Force revealed that it is unable to recommend guidelines for or against routine screening for adults over 50 for age-related hearing loss if they currently lack symptoms because of existing gaps in research.  Further, only about 20 percent of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them.  NIDCD is working to fill these gaps and usage behaviors by supporting research or infrastructure that will lead to more accessible and affordable hearing health care for adults.  For example, NIDCD has launched a series of groundbreaking research initiatives to facilitate research collaborations between clinicians and researchers, including community-based researchers, in academic and industry settings, to address the pressing public health need of improving the accessibility, affordability, and outcomes of hearing health care.  By identifying the research gaps related to effective and affordable hearing health care, devices, and compliance, and by developing novel strategies to overcome these gaps, NIDCD clinical and translational research will improve quality of life for millions of Americans.
  • Training: NIDCD has placed an emphasis on research training and career development opportunities, including developing a future strategy for NIDCD’s training programs at an August 2012 NIDCD-sponsored workshop, “Moving the NIDCD Research Training Enterprise Forward in Fiscally Constrained Times,” in hopes of ensuring a productive, creative, and innovative cadre of qualified scientists to further NIDCD’s research mission.  In particular, the workshop invitees were charged with advising the Institute on the optimal balance of 1) individual versus institutional-based training and 2) postdoctoral versus predoctoral training.  NIDCD has also supported the development of an intramural clinical research career development program for M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. otolaryngologists that has fostered communication sciences careers of several extramural grantees, as well as scientific and clinical leaders of the NIDCD intramural program.

Overall Budget Policy: The FY 2014 President’s Budget request for NIDCD is $422.936 million, an increase of $7.436 million or 1.8 percent above the FY 2012 Actual level.  NIDCD will continue to support new and early stage investigators, and will increase the number of competing Research Project Grants (RPG’s) by 27.  In FY 2014, NIDCD will support new investigators on R01 equivalent awards at success rates approximately equal to those of established investigators submitting new R01 equivalent applications.  NIH budget policy for RPGs in FY 2014, continues FY 2012 policy of eliminating inflationary increases for future year commitments.  However adjustments for special needs (such as equipment and added personnel) will continue to be accommodated.  For competing RPG’s, the average cost is equal to the FY 2012 Actual level.

The NIDCD allocates a portion of the funds available for competing RPG’s to High Program Priority (HPP) projects outside of the automatic pay line.  NIDCD will continue emphasizing faculty, postdoctoral and student training in our three program areas: hearing and balance; taste and smell; and voice, speech and language sciences. Trained investigators will be encouraged to choose a research career through the Pathways to Independence program.   Support for the National Research Service Award (NRSA) training mechanism will remain constant reflecting a reduction in the number of trainees supported.  The Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA budget reflects a stipend increase to $42,000 for the entry level postdoctoral trainees and fellows along with 4 percent increases for each subsequent level of experience.  These increases are consistent with stipend increases recommended by the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director and the National Research Council.  In addition, this increase is consistent with 42 USC 288(b)(5), which anticipates periodic adjustments in stipends “to reflect increases in the cost of living.”  Stipend rates for predoctoral trainees and fellows increase by 2 percent.  Funds are included in R&D Contracts to support trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet).  The apparent increase in estimated FY 2014 FTE compared to the FY 2012 actual FTE usage is due to the effect of transferring positions previously funded from a centralized support operation (Division of Extramural Activities Support) to individual ICs as of year-end 2012.  As a result of the DEAS transfer, estimated salaries and benefits for FY 2014 are proportionately higher than those identified for FY 2012 and previous years.

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Program Descriptions and Accomplishments

Hearing and Balance Program: Loss of hearing or balance imposes a significant social and economic burden upon individuals, their families, and the communities in which they live.  Millions of Americans experience a hearing or balance disorder at some point in their life, especially as young children or older adults.  Common examples include middle ear infections (otitis media), noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, age-related hearing loss, dizziness, and vertigo.  Hearing and balance disorders decrease quality of life.  They also cross all ethnic and socioeconomic lines.  Approximately 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss3, and almost eight million adults report a chronic problem with balance.4  In addition, two to three out of 1,000 babies born in the U.S. each year have a detectable hearing loss5 that can affect their speech, language, social, and cognitive development.  Accordingly, research projects within the NIDCD Hearing and Balance program encompass over half of NIDCD’s portfolio.  To study normal and disordered functions of the auditory and vestibular systems, NIDCD employs a wide range of research approaches such as molecular genetics, cellular biology, biomedical imaging, nanotechnology, psychoacoustics, and structural and functional biology.  NIDCD supports research that will lead to improved treatments for, and prevention of, hearing and balance disorders.  One area of focus is regenerative medicine, NIDCD’s High Priority for FY 2014, which will be advanced by developing hair cell regeneration strategies.  To this end, NIDCD held a workshop in September 2011 to identify opportunities to induce regeneration in the inner ear.  Mammals are unable to regenerate hair cells, and once hair cells are damaged, function is lost.  NIDCD is planning to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement to encourage research in this area.  The ultimate goal is to identify and “turn on” important molecular switches and regulators to enable mammals to regenerate and repair their own inner ear hair cells.

Budget Policy: The FY 2014 President’s Budget estimate for the Hearing and Balance program is $208.192 million, an increase of $3.414 million or 1.7 percent above the FY 2012 Actual level.  In FY 2014, the program will continue emphasizing faculty, postdoctoral and student training on hearing and balance sciences.  Trained investigators will be encouraged to choose a research career through the Pathways to Independence program.  Making R01 awards to first-time and early-stage investigators in the area of hearing and balances sciences will be given funding priority.

Program Portrait: Vestibular/Balance Disorders

FY 2012 Level: $1.5 million
FY 2014 Level: $2.5 million
Change: + $1.0 million

NIDCD supports research on balance and the vestibular system, which is housed in the inner ear and helps us maintain balance and navigate.  Normal balance is maintained by an interaction among vision, vestibular, proprioceptive (position sensation) and musculoskeletal systems.  All of these systems can deteriorate with age, and the American population is aging.  Vestibular disorders lead to dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and various forms of balance disturbances.  More than 4 in 10 Americans, especially the elderly, will experience an episode of dizziness sometime during their lives that is significant enough to send them to a doctor.  Falls (falling) caused by balance disturbance can result in severe trauma and even loss of life.

Linear acceleration detectors of the vestibular system, the otolithic organs, detect the forces produced by head tilt and by linear (forward-to-aft, side-to-side) head movements.  How the vestibular and the nervous systems resolve gravitational from linear accelerations in order to accurately perceive motion and control balance is currently under active study by NIDCD-supported scientists.  NIDCD sponsored a workshop titled “Motion Perception and Balance Disorders” in July 2012 to bring together experts to examine how perception of bodily motion (e.g., rotations, translations) is affected by expectation and how balance disorders result from misperceptions, which may result in falls.  While treatment of specific disease and rehabilitation of vestibular and balance disorders are helpful, prevention through balance, exercise, and other programs can better maintain wellness and save health care cost.  NIDCD research also is supporting the development of safer, better tolerated, and more effective pharmacological treatments for balance disorders, including vertigo.

NIDCD research is attempting to develop vestibular prosthetic devices and minimally invasive surgery techniques to control imbalance and vertigo while preserving hearing and other functions.  Dysfunctions of the vestibular system can occur independently or with a hearing loss.  NIDCD has encouraged translational research towards development of a vestibular implant similar to the cochlear implant through various activities, including a workshop in 2004 and support of a research and development contract that has run from 2006 through 2011.  This contract has provided encouraging results taken from chronic studies with nonhuman primates that have been implanted with a device for periods exceeding one year, indicating that the vestibular nerve can be safely, effectively, and specifically stimulated electrically to drive responses that mimic normal vestibular responses.  In 2012, NIDCD issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement to encourage continued research and development efforts for translation of electrical stimulation of the vestibular nerve to studies in human subjects to replace balance and positional information lost through disorders like Méniére’s disease or head trauma.

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Taste and Smell Program: Each year, more than 200,000 people visit a physician for chemosensory problems such as taste and smell disorders.6  Many more cases of taste and smell disorders go unreported.  The NIDCD Taste and Smell program supports the study of the chemical senses, taste and smell, which play important roles in preferences and aversions for aromas, specific foods, and flavors.  By providing knowledge on food preferences, research on taste and smell may help increase our understanding of obesity and diabetes and help develop prevention and treatment strategies.  Taste and smell preferences can also influence whether someone is willing to take a needed medication.  For example, children often refuse to take needed medications because the taste is bitter or undesirable to them.  NIDCD has made it a high priority to increase the Institute’s support of translational research to study whether bitter blockers can get children to take their medicines and adhere to treatment schedules.  Other serious health problems like hypertension, malnutrition, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis may be accompanied or signaled by chemosensory problems.  NIDCD-supported research on molecular and cellular biology, biophysics, and biochemistry of the olfactory and gustatory systems is paving the way for improved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of chemosensory disorders.

Budget Policy: The FY 2014 President’s Budget estimate for the Taste and Smell program is $61.367 million, an increase of $1.006 million or 1.7 percent above the FY 2012 Actual level.  In FY 2014, the program will continue emphasizing faculty, postdoctoral and student training on smell and taste sciences.  Trained investigators will be encouraged to choose a research career through the Pathways to Independence program.  Making R01 awards to first-time and early-stage investigators in the area of taste and smell sciences will be given funding priority.

Voice, Speech, and Language Program: Voice, speech, and language are means that all individuals use to communicate or share thoughts, ideas, and emotions.  However, approximately 7.5 million people in the U.S. have trouble using their voice.7  By the first grade, roughly 5 percent of children have noticeable speech disorders.8  Past estimates indicates that six to eight million people in the U.S. have some form of language impairment.9  The NIDCD Voice, Speech, and Language Program continues to determine the nature, causes, and prevention of voice, speech, or language disorders.  Disorders involving voice, speech, or language, as well as swallowing, can have an overwhelming effect on an individual’s health, their ability to communicate effectively, academic success and job opportunities, and quality of life.  These disorders affect people of all ages with or without hearing impairment, including children with autism and adults with aphasia or other speech disorders.  Therefore, NIDCD continues its commitment to develop effective diagnostic and intervention strategies for people with voice, speech, or language impairments.  For example, several Funding Opportunity Announcements have resulted in clinical trials related to voice, speech, or language.  NIDCD-supported scientists are determining various methods for treating adults who developed aphasia after a stroke.  Other scientists are studying the effectiveness of therapy to improve voice disorders in children who have nodules on their vocal folds.

Program Portrait: Non-Verbal Autism

FY 2012 Level: $1.9 million
FY 2014 Level: $2.1 million
Change:           +$0.2 million

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges.  ASDs affect each person in different ways and can range from very mild to severe.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 50 children are diagnosed with an ASD10.  NIDCD has identified a number of research needs and opportunities related to children with autism, and in particular, among children who remain functionally non-verbal beyond five years of age—a subset of individuals with ASD, which is currently under-represented in research.

In April 2010, NIDCD organized and led a multidisciplinary workshop, cosponsored by several other NIH Institutes, to analyze the state of empirical knowledge related to non-verbal children with ASD.  The workshop resulted in consensus that novel methods in assessing cognition and language comprehension in non-verbal children with ASD were needed.  In addition, workshop participants concluded that further studies were needed to explain why some children do not acquire spoken language by school-age, in spite of exposure to evidence-based interventions. NIDCD held a follow-up workshop in August 2011, which focused on assessment of non-verbal children with ASD.  This workshop resulted in the finalization of assessment recommendations identified at the April 2010 workshop.  In 2013, NIDCD expects to present these recommendations to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee that coordinates all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning ASD.  NIDCD also anticipates publishing its recommendations in 2013 so that the information is widely accessible.

As a result of these activities, and to address under-represented research needs among children with ASD, NIDCD, in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health, published a Funding Opportunity Announcement for scientists to submit revisions to existing research grants to expand the scope of their research to include characterization and/or treatment studies with non-verbal children with ASD.  Also, NIDCD recently awarded an Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) center grant, and co-funded an ACE network grant.  Both research projects support scientists who are investigating ASD in children with limited speech.  The ACE research team that received the NIDCD center grant will use brain imaging technologies in an effort to understand why certain children with ASD do not learn to speak, with the goal of helping these children to overcome this limitation.  The research team will also test new approaches to help young children with ASD acquire language.  The ACE network grant co-funded by NIDCD will compare two types of intensive, daily instruction for children with ASD who use only minimal verbal communication.  These researchers plan to enroll 200 children in four cities: Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, and Rochester, New York.  Scientists hope this translational research will identify new intervention mechanisms for nonverbal children with autism.

Budget Policy: The FY 2014 President’s Budget estimate for the Voice, Speech, and Language program is $93.777 million, an increase of $1.537 million or 1.7 percent above the FY 2012 Actual level.  In FY 2014, the program will continue emphasizing faculty, postdoctoral and student training on voice, speech, and language sciences.  Trained investigators will be encouraged to choose a research career through the Pathways to Independence program.  Making R01 awards to first-time and early-stage investigators in the area of voice, speech, and language sciences will be given funding priority.

Intramural Research Program:

The NIDCD Intramural Research Program (IRP) conducts basic and clinical research in human communication, with strong interests in hearing and language.  Research projects address the genetics of hearing and balance disorders in human and mouse models; identifying molecules and genes important for inner ear development, structure and function; observing hearing and language in action by neuroimaging and computer modeling of brain function; and describing how auditory nerve cells communicate.  This intense concentration on hearing research and its genetic causes has enabled NIDCD intramural scientists to make significant research progress on this priority for NIDCD.  In the past year, NIDCD intramural scientists have continued to work to understand the connectome, which is the structure and function of the parts of the nervous system that deal with hearing and balance.  The NIDCD Division of Intramural Research is also initiating a new partnership with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to implement a new model for scientific and clinical collaboration.  Together, they hope to recruit and provide research training to clinician-scientists in NIH intramural laboratories to increase academic productivity and leverage the unique clinical training opportunities of the NIDCD Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery consultation service at the NIH Clinical Center.  NIDCD and the Department also hope to facilitate the development of a Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology research-oriented residency training program in Montgomery County, Maryland, with the goal of increasing the number of Otolaryngologists who choose a research career.  

The NIDCD Division of Intramural Research has also invested in technological innovation to accelerate the pace of deafness gene discovery.  An Intramural scientist was the first to use massive parallel sequencing to discover a novel gene for deafness.  The resulting increase in the pace of gene discovery will improve the sensitivity and scope of genetic testing to identify the cause of hearing loss or deafness.  Thanks to this translational research, healthcare professionals can now use a single test to screen individuals for mutations in over 70 deafness genes.  When the cause of hearing loss or deafness is known, healthcare professionals are better informed to predict the course of hearing loss, determine the best options for communication rehabilitation, chances for the condition to occur in family members, and possible strategies to avoid further hearing loss, as well as the design of clinical trials to investigate new methods to prevent, treat, or manage the condition(s).  Currently, NIDCD laboratories are located at 5 Research Court in Rockville, Maryland, and Buildings 10 and 50 on the NIH campus, limiting researchers’ interactions with other NIDCD and NIH intramural laboratory staff.  In FY 2014, the entire NIDCD IRP will occupy laboratory space on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.  The NIDCD IRP scientists who were located in Rockville, Maryland, will move into the second phase of the Porter Neuroscience Center Building.  This move is crucial to improve sharing of scientific resources and to promote further collaborations between NIDCD scientists.

Budget Policy: The FY 2014 President’s Budget estimate for the Intramural Research Program is $39.500 million, an increase of $1.500 million or 3.9 percent above the FY 2012 Actual level.  This increase will provide for costs related to preparing for occupying the second phase of the Porter Neuroscience Research Building, and the decommissioning of NIDCD’s rental facility in Rockville, Maryland.  The NIDCD Intramural Research Program has been a leader in research on hereditary hearing impairment and has identified many genes whose mutation causes hearing loss.  In FY 2014, NIDCD intramural scientists will continue their efforts in identifying mutation in genes, which impacts hearing, and identifying or studying additional genes involved in communication disorders in humans and animal models.

Research Management and Support (RMS) Program:

NIDCD RMS activities provide administrative, budgetary, logistical, and scientific support in the review, award, and monitoring of research grants, training awards, and research and development contracts.  RMS functions also include strategic planning, coordination, and evaluation of the Institute’s programs, regulatory compliance, international coordination, and liaison with other Federal agencies, Congress, and the public.  The Institute currently oversees over 1,400 research grants, training awards, and research and development contracts.  To provide effective and efficient administrative management services in support of NIDCD’s mission to advance biomedical research discoveries that lead to better health for everyone, the Institute developed an Administrative Strategic Plan in 2012.  NIDCD has been implementing the goals of the plan, which includes:  1) strengthening human capital management by developing a non-monetary employee recognition program, 2) developing strong metrics which support administrative decision-making by exploring use of management dashboards, 3) improving administrative efficiency by gathering customer feedback and enhancing operating procedures, 4) using innovative practices by developing new ways to allocate the administrative budget, and 5) fostering a strong collaborative culture between NIDCD administrative and scientific staff by improving the intranet.

Budget Policy: The FY 2014 President’s Budget estimate for the RMS program is $20.1 million, a decrease of $0.021 million or 0.1 percent below the FY 2012 Actual level.  The apparent increase in estimated FY 2014 FTE compared to the FY 2012 actual FTE usage is due to the effect of transferring positions previously funded from a centralized support operation (Division of Extramural Activities Support) to individual ICs as of year-end 2012.  As a result of the DEAS transfer, estimated salaries and benefits for FY 2014 are proportionately higher than those identified for FY 2012 and previous years.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Budget Authority by Object Class

(Dollars in Thousands)
  FY 2012
Actual
FY 2014
PB
Increase or Decrease
Total compensable workyears      
Full-time employment 135 146 11
Full-time equivalent of overtime and holiday hours 0 0 0
Average ES salary (in whole dollars) $164,830 $167,311 $2,481
Average GM/GS grade 12.4 12.4 0.0
Average GM/GS salary (in whole dollars) $104,416 $105,469 $1,053
Average salary, grade established by act of July 1, 1944
(42 U.S.C. 207) (in whole dollars)
$0 $0 $0
Average salary of ungraded positions (in whole dollars) $0 $0 $0
       
OBJECT CLASSES FY 2012 Actual FY 2014
PB
Increase or Decrease
Personnel Compensation:
11.1 Full-time permanent $9,902 $10,454 $552
11.3 Other than full-time permanent 5,041 5,228 187
11.5 Other personnel compensation 287 301 14
11.7 Military personnel 89 92 3
11.8 Special personnel services payments 2,002 2,053 51
Total, Personnel Compensation $17,322 $18,128 $806
12.0 Personnel benefits $4,579.98 $4,795 $215
12.2 Military personnel benefits 47 48 1
13.0 Benefits for former personnel 0 0 0
Subtotal, Pay Costs $21,950 $22,971 $1,021
21.0 Travel and transportation of persons $341.24 $472 $131
22.0 Transportation of things 39 42 3
23.1 Rental payments to GSA 0 0 0
23.2 Rental payments to others 0 0 0
23.3 Communications, utilities and miscellaneous charges 287 292 5
24.0 Printing and reproduction 23 35 12
25.1 Consulting services 134 126 (8)
25.2 Other services 5,429 5,288 (141)
25.3 Purchase of goods and services from government accounts 38,492 41,302 2,810
25.4 Operation and maintenance of facilities 186 188 2
25.5 Research and development contracts 6,441 2,974 (3,467)
25.6 Medical care 467 468 1
25.7 Operation and maintenance of equipment 952 939 (13)
25.8 Subsistence and support of persons 0 0 0
25.0 Subtotal, Other Contractual Services $52,101 $51,285 ($816)
26.0 Supplies and materials $2,277.47 $2,502 $225
31.0 Equipment 1,755 1,601 (154)
32.0 Land and structures 0 0 0
33.0 Investments and loans 0 0 0
41.0 Grants, subsidies and contributions 336,728 343,736 7,008
42.0 Insurance claims and indemnities 0 0 0
43.0 Interest and dividends 0 0 (0)
44.0 Refunds 0 0 0
Subtotal, Non-Pay Costs $393,551 $399,965 $6,414
Total Budget Authority by Object Class $415,500 $422,936 $7,436

Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Salaries and Expenses

(Dollars in Thousands)
OBJECT CLASSES FY 2012
Actual
FY 2014
PB
Increase or Decrease
Personnel Compensation:
Full-time permanent (11.1) $9,902 $10,454 $552
Other than full-time permanent (11.3) 5,041 5,228 187
Other personnel compensation (11.5) 287 301 14
Military personnel (11.7) 89 92 3
Special personnel services payments (11.8) 2,002 2,053 51
Total Personnel Compensation (11.9) $17,321 $18,128 $807
Civilian personnel benefits (12.1) $4,580 $4,795 $215
Military personnel benefits (12.2) 47 48 1
Benefits to former personnel (13.0) 0 0 0
Subtotal, Pay Costs $21,948 $22,971 $1,023
Travel (21.0) $341 $472 $131
Transportation of things (22.0) 39 42 3
Rental payments to others (23.2) 0 0 0
Communications, utilities and miscellaneous charges (23.3) 287 292 5
Printing and reproduction (24.0) 23 35 12
Other Contractual Services:
Advisory and assistance services (25.1) 134 126 (8)
Other services (25.2) 5,429 5,287 (142)
Purchases from government accounts (25.3) 22,352 23,090 738
Operation and maintenance of facilities (25.4) 186 188 2
Operation and maintenance of equipment (25.7) 952 939 (13)
Subsistence and support of persons (25.8) 0 0 0
Subtotal Other Contractual Services $29,053 $29,630 $577
Supplies and materials (26.0) $2,270 $2,495 $225
Subtotal, Non-Pay Costs $32,013 $32,966 $953
Total, Administrative Costs $53,961 $55,937 $1,976

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Details of Full-Time Equivalent Employment (FTEs)
OFFICE/DIVISION FY 2012 Actual FY 2013 CR FY 2014 PB
Civilian Military Total Civilian Military Total Civilian Military Total
Office of the Director                  
Direct: 3 - 3 3 - 3 3 - 3
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 3 - 3 3 - 3 3 - 3
Office of Extramural Activities                  
Direct: 16 - 16 20 - 20 20 - 20
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 16 - 16 20 - 20 20 - 20
Office of Administration                  
Direct: 34 - 34 36 - 36 36 - 36
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 34 - 34 36 - 36 36 - 36
Division of Scientific Programs                  
Direct: 15 - 15 17 - 17 17 - 17
Reimbursable: - - - - - - - - -
Total: 15 - 15 17 - 17 17 - 17
Division of Intramural Research Programs                  
Direct: 63 1 64 66 1 67 67 - 67
Reimbursable: 3 - 3 3 - 3 3 - 3
Total: 66 1 67 69 1 70 70 - 70
                   
Total: 134 1 135 145 1 146 146 0 146

Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.
FTEs supported by funds from Cooperative Research and Development Agreements.

Fiscal Year Average GS Grade
2010 12.2
2011 12.2
2012 12.4
2013 12.4
2014 12.4

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Detail of Positions
GRADE FY 2012 Actual FY 2013 CR FY 2014 PB
Total, ES Positions 1 1 1
Total, ES Salary $164,830 165,654 167,311
GM/GS-15 23 23 23
GM/GS-14 14 14 14
GM/GS-13 18 18 18
GS-12 21 22 22
GS-11 9 10 10
GS-10 0 0 0
GS-9 7 8 8
GS-8 4 4 4
GS-7 3 5 5
GS-6 0 0 0
GS-5 1 1 1
GS-4 1 1 1
GS-3 0 0 0
GS-2 0 0 0
GS-1 0 0 0
Subtotal 101 106 106
Grades established by Act of July 1, 1944 (42 U.S.C. 207):
Assistant Surgeon General 0 0 0
Director Grade 0 1 1
Senior Grade 1 0 0
Full Grade 0 0 0
Senior Assistant Grade 0 0 0
Assistant Grade 0 0 0
Subtotal 1 1 1
Ungraded 48 48 49
Total permanent positions 99 104 104
Total positions, end of year 151 156 156
Total full-time equiv (FTE) at YE 135 146 146
Average ES salary $164,830 $165,654 $167,311
Average GM/GS grade 12.4 12.4 12.4
Average GM/GS salary 104,416 104,425 105,469
Includes FTEs whose payroll obligations are supported by the NIH Common Fund.

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1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22941275
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22522927
3. Based on NCHS/NHIS data for 2007.
4. Based on prevalences from the 1994–95 Disability Supplement to the NHIS and current US population estimates.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Identifying infants with hearing loss - United States, 1999-2007.  MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 59(8): 220-223.  Gaffney M, Green DR, Gaffney C. Newborn hearing screening and follow-up: are children receiving recommended services?  Public Health Rep. 125(2): 199-207, 2010.
6. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/vsl/Pages/stats.aspx
7. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/vsl/Pages/Default.aspx
8. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Screening for Speech and Language Delay in Preschool Children, 2006, http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspschdv.htm This link will open a non-federal website in a new window.
9. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/vsl/Pages/Default.aspx
10. National Health Statistics Report, Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2012 (March 20, 2013), http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr065.pdf