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NIH Planning Special Council Review for PIs Receiving More than $1.5M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – As part of its efforts to respond to tightening federal budgets and to enhance its scrutiny of research projects, the National Institutes of Health is currently working out the details of a new policy that would require applicants who are already receiving more than $1.5 million from NIH to undergo a new special review process.

NIH is currently developing the policy, which was included in the White House's budget proposal for 2013 as a measure to enhance the stewardship of federal funding, through a pilot phase and is engaging leaders of the various institutes and centers, according to a recent NIH notice.

Under the new program, applications for grants and cooperative agreements from principal investigators already receiving over $1.5 million per year will be subject to a special council review, or SCR, which will seek to determine if there is a strong justification for providing certain researchers with more funding.

The new policy requires this SCR on investigator-initiated grants including competing research project grant proposals, such as R01, R21, and PO1 grants, and cooperative agreements and multi-year supplements.

Grants proposed in response to an NIH request for applications, however, will not be subject to the new review, nor will multiple-component research project grants, and multiple-component RPGs in which one investigator does not exceed the $1.5 million threshold, according to NIH.

Currently, leaders of the NIH's institutes and centers are drafting lists of grants that will fall under the new special council review policy, and NIH is expected to implement the new rules this September.

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