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NIDCD FY 2004 Funding Guidelines

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) distributes its resources among many diverse programs and mechanisms. The Institute is committed to funding the largest number of meritorious projects possible, while allowing the flexibility needed to support selected program priorities and respond to emerging scientific opportunities.

Once the President signs the NIH Appropriation for a fiscal year, the funds for new and competing renewal research grant applications are allocated for the fiscal year. The Institute establishes general guidelines for funding based on scientific merit, responsiveness to the Institute's priorities, and availability of funds. Special consideration is also given to New Investigators.

For FY 2004, the following guidance applies to research project grant funds:

  • NIDCD will continue to apply National Institutes of Health (NIH) cost management guidelines in making Research Project Grant (RPG) awards.
  • Noncompeting continuation awards will be funded at the recommended level for FY 2004 that is reflected on the FY 2003 Notice of Grant Award.
  • Awards will be modular for all applications that do not exceed $250,000 direct costs in any given year of support in the recommended competitive segment and categorical for those that exceed $250,000 in any year of support in the recommended competitive segment.
  • Based on case-by-case review of grant applications by program directors, reductions from direct costs recommended will on average approximate 9%.
    • No reductions will be taken on applications with direct costs less than $150,000.
    • No budget reductions will be taken on direct costs recommended for New Investigators.
  • Future year commitments on FY 2004 new and competing renewal awards that are over $250,000 will reflect a 3% escalation factor. Modular grants do not receive a 3% escalation factor in future years.
  • NIDCD, along with the rest of NIH, maintains the average length of a grant at approximately four years, established at the direction of Congressional appropriations committees.
    • No reductions in time are usually taken on applications from New Investigators.
  • NIDCD allocates the majority of its research project grant funds to applications in ranked percentile/priority score order. However, a proportion of the funds are reserved for projects that may be outside this range but are of particular programmatic interest to the Institute, for example support of New Investigators.

These guidelines do not necessarily apply to applications funded in response to an RFA.

Many factors occurring throughout the year can affect these operating guidelines. Thus, they are subject to change. For the most current information, it is always best to check with an appropriate Institute official. A listing of NIDCD extramural staff can be found at: NIDCD Extramural Staff

Additional Information and Resources for Grantees

Support for New Investigators

In 1997 the NIH Working Group on New Investigators reported that our "national capacity to advance biomedical research and to improve the health of the American people in no small measure resides in the nurturing, education, training, recruitment, and employment of cadres of new investigators." One of the major recommendations of the Working Group was termination of the R29 funding mechanism in favor of regular R01 support for new investigators.

In response to recommendations of the Working Group, NIDCD established procedures and funding policies to ensure that adequate numbers of new investigators are supported. Under these policies, an applicant's status as a new investigator is one of the criteria used in funding decisions made by the Institute. NIDCD staff and NDCD Advisory Council members are encouraged to identify and give special consideration to new investigators. In addition to receiving special consideration for funding, R01 grants to new investigators are exempted from reductions in time or amount. Protecting new investigators from such reductions in funding time and amount will allow them the additional time and effort necessary to establish their research program.

The NIDCD has a history of encouraging the development of New Investigators. Since the early 1990s, NIDCD has offered a Small Grant (R03) Program specifically designed to support basic and clinical research of scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent research career. The Small Grant Program may be used to support individuals transitioning from postdoctoral status to their first independent research position.

Certificate of Confidentiality

Certificates of Confidentiality allow researchers to avoid the involuntary release of any portion of research records containing information that could be used to identify study participants. A Certificate of Confidentiality protects the investigator and anyone else who has access to research records from involuntary disclosure. If your research involves collection of information that could be damaging to an individual's financial standing, employability, insurability, or reputation; or if it results in stigmatization or discrimination; or your study involves genetic testing for disease predisposition; or if it involves information on sexual attitudes or practices, substance abuse or other illicit behavior, you may want to request a Certificate of Confidentiality from the NIH. Principal Investigators are encouraged to discuss matters relating to Certificates of Confidentiality with their NIDCD Program Administrator once they have received an award. Additional information is available on this topic at the "Certificates of Confidentiality Kiosk "