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NIA pay line recovers a bit

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NIA Blog Team

We have bumped the NIA general allocation up by one point all around.

For most research grants—at least the ones under $500k a year—that pay line is now the 10th percentile. We are paying new investigator R01 applications to the 18th percentile and early-stage investigators can now breathe comfortably with the knowledge that their R01 applications are being paid to the princely 20th percentile!

It is a little bit of end-of-year cheer in this funding line. I know the Alzheimer’s allocation line is richer by far, but crossing into double digits in the general allocation is worth at least half a bell ring!

Short-term high-priority award program renewed

Additional good news is coming for other investigators, too, whose “non-Alzheimer’s” applications languish in the nether regions of percentiles beyond the 10th. As we did last year, we are again launching an R56 award program for investigators whose applications do not quite reach our pinched pay line. These are short-term (one year, in our case) high-priority awards to allow investigators to strengthen the data behind the research plan—firm up the “premise” in today’s language—or otherwise answer reviewer comments with the help of a year’s research support. Program staff are contacting investigators to discuss this possible funding. It is not an opportunity that you apply for directly yourself.

Where does this money come from?

How come this money only appears now when we received our budget at the start of the year? Some of the funds come from noncompeting awards that receive a no-cost extension year in the middle of the project cycle, in order to catch up after encountering problems of one kind or another. Other funds appear because someone (higher up than us) has put a hold on some part of our budget and then releases it later in the year. And some more funds come because our own estimates come in under budget and leave a little loose change. (Estimates tend to be conservative because no-one wants to cancel an award that is already made. I don’t want to imagine how that feels!)

Future update coming

Anyway, it brings some good fortune to a few in the summer months. We will have a future end-of-year update that will touch on career awards, small business awards, and even possibly some more news on the Alzheimer’s allocation. In the meantime, if you have comments on this news, then share them with us below!

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