NINDS Funding Strategy FY 2021

NINDS Funding Strategy FY 2021

Operations Under a Continuing Resolution

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including NIH, operates under the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021and Other Extensions Acts” (Public Law 116-159) signed by President Trump on September 30, 2020. This Act (CR) continues government operations through December 11, 2020 at FY 2020 enacted level.

Consistent with NIH procedures identified under NOT-OD-21-009 and during the CRs of FY 2006 – 2020, the NIH will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). After FY 2021 appropriations are enacted, NIH hopes to adjust the awarded levels to 100% of the previously committed level, as it has done in previous years. However, as this upward adjustment is dependent on the 2021 budget level, NIH expects institutions to monitor their expenditures carefully during this period.

The table below describes the paylines for different categories of competing grant awards during the period of the CR. Applications within these paylines will be funded with rare, NANDS Council-approved exceptions. These paylines may be adjusted when the FY 2021 appropriation is enacted (and please also view NINDS historical paylines and success rates):

Investigators General Pay Line
All Investigators 14%
Early Stage Investigators 25%

NINDS Competing Award Funding Policy during the CR

In addition, Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease related dementia applications submitted via the parent R01 (please see PA-18-484 and PA-18-345) or the NINDS R21 FOAs will share an extended payline with NIA as described in the NIA Funding Strategy.

All approved applications from 2020 September/October Council will be funded in accordance with the NINDS FY2020 funding strategy with one important exception: NINDS has updated its policy and will no longer apply administrative cuts to modular awards issued after the September 2020 NANDSC meeting. NINDS recognizes that while the modular budgetary cap of $250K in direct costs has not increased since the program began in 1999, the cost of doing research has increased significantly. In January 2020, NINDS reduced the administrative cuts on modular grants from 12.5% to 6%, and beginning with FY2021, modular grants will not receive any automatic reduction from the Council-recommended direct cost levels. NINDS will, however, continue its longstanding policy of applying competing administrative reductions of 17.5% to non-modular Research Projects Grants.  In accordance with the NIA Funding Strategy for AD/ADRD research, NINDS is awarding the study-section recommended amount of support for AD/ADRD applications within the Alzheimer's allocation but with adjustments as deemed appropriate by staff.

As in recent fiscal years (see NOT-OD-13-064), inflationary increases for future year commitments are no longer provided for all competing and non-competing research grant awards issued by the NINDS. However, adjustments for special needs (such as equipment and added personnel) continue to be accommodated whenever possible.

Related information:

Historical trends in NINDS RPG Success Rates and Paylines
Find information regarding the success rates and paylines at NINDS over time. The success rate is determined by the total number of applications that NINDS funds, divided by the total number of reviewed applications. Typically, success rate is slightly higher than the payline, which is a percentile rank up to which most R01 applications can be funded.

For more on success rates and paylines, please view:

NINDS FY 2019 Funding Outcomes Data
Find and interact with information about R01 Funding at NINDS during the 2019 fiscal year as well as over the past decade.