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NIA budget and pay lines update: Springing forward

Dr. Ken Santora
Kenneth SANTORA,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)

Aligned with the season and thanks to the recent passage of federal appropriations legislation for the remainder of this fiscal year, NIA is delighted to spring forward with some positive pay line and budget news.

President Biden signed H.R. 2471, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, into law on March 15, 2022. It sets the total NIA budget allocation at more than $4.2 billion, which is an overall 8.2% increase from our FY 2021 enacted amount. Along with increases in our general allocations, it also marks a very generous additional $289 million increase in funding for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research.

Restoring pay lines

Importantly for our supported investigators, this positive development has enabled us to move our pay lines back to what they were at the end of FY 2021. Noncompeting awards have been moved from 90% back to 100% of the awarded amount. This now ends our initial conservative pay lines and allows for restoration of noncompeting awards to the full amount.

For those noncompeting awards that were previously paid at 90% this FY, your awards will be restored to 100%. As in the past, NIA will continue to reduce FY 2022 competing awards in the general allocation by an average of 18%. For Alzheimer’s and related dementias research allocations, we will pay awards at their full study-section-recommended amounts unless there are concerns about overlap or similar issues that would necessitate decreasing the amount.

As a reminder, under certain rare circumstances, NIA does make exceptions to the pay line. For instance, when peer review identifies a significant scientific concern that weakens the case for making an award, we may instead provide short-term support (R56) or invite a resubmission of the application. Similarly, we may pay a few applications beyond the pay lines when they focus on NIA’s high priorities.

Finally, keep an eye on our funding line policy webpage, as we may be able to make some final adjustments before the end of the year.

Keep in touch with your POs

NIA program officers remain your go-to gurus for questions about your individual application, so please don’t hesitate to email them to discuss how these updates will affect your work. We appreciate your ongoing patience as NIA does its best to cautiously steer the budgetary ship through fiscal opportunities and challenges while aiming to be as transparent as possible.

As always, please bookmark the “Inside NIA” blog for all the latest numbers of note, and-or leave us your questions or concerns as a comment below.

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