Rules and Policies for Funding Consideration

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Recipients should be aware of a number of NIH and NINDS funding policies. Read below to learn more about each policy.

Administrative Budget Cuts

As discussed at the September 2023 NANDS Council meeting (starting at ~1:13:32), due to appropriations uncertainty NINDS will be implementing a conservative funding strategy for the start of Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24).

Fiscal Year 2024 Competing Funding Policies and Award Administrative Reductions 

  • Salaries, stipends, and Training Funds are limited to the levels published by the NIH. We will reduce budgets when these caps are exceeded.  For additional information, see our salary cap, stipends, and training funds page.
  • No inflationary increases are provided in calculating future year commitments. For more details about this and related funding policies, see our Funding Policies page.
  • Specific administrative reductions by mechanism (but does not include awards funded through AD/ADRD, BRAIN, Common Fund, and HEAL appropriations):
    Mechanism Administrative Cut
    R01 (Modular Budget) 0%
    R01 (Non-Modular Budget) 20.5%
    R03, R15, R21 0%
    R25/UE5 0%
    R13 or U13 0%
    F, T, and K mechanisms 0%
    All other mechanisms not listed here* 3%
      *this includes mechanisms that have not historically received administrative reductions


Fiscal Year 2024 Noncompeting Award Funding Policies

  • When an application is funded, NIH agrees to provide funds over several years (for example, the typical NINDS R01 award is funded for five years).  Therefore, investigators request payment for the next budget period (usually, every year), but these requests do not compete with other applications.
  • Non-competing awards will be made at 90% of the committed level with the following exceptions which will be funded at 100%
    • F, T, and K mechanisms
    • R03, R21
    • R13 and U13
    • R16
    • R25
    • Diversity Supplement
    • SBIR/STTR mechanisms

Inflationary Increases

Inflationary increases for future year commitments are not permitted. The NIH escalation policy applies to all cost categories (e.g., salaries/fringe, supplies, travel). Any justified reason for year-to-year increases within a budget category should be explained clearly in an applicant's budget justification.

Salary Cap

Congress restricts the amount of direct salary paid to an individual under an HHS grant, cooperative agreement, or contract. Salary cap information for investigators and National Research Service Award (NRSA) stipend information for trainees can be found on the salary cap page. It is important to consult the latest salary cap and stipend levels when you prepare your grant application or contract proposal budget.

Your institution may only pay you beyond the NIH salary cap using non-federal funds. For historic levels, see NIH’s Salary Cap Summary (FY 1990-Present).


Effort Requirements and Expectations

NINDS generally expects a minimum effort of 2.4 calendar months (or 20% effort) on an R01 or R01-equivalent Special Council Review (SCR) application. For multiple principal investigator (MPI) applications, effort is typically divided equitably among the PIs or in a manner that is appropriate for each PI's contribution to the project. The combined efforts of the PIs should meet or exceed 2.4 calendar months.

For some grant mechanisms such as the R35 and some K mechanisms, NINDS has specific expectations for the level of effort level required.  Review the NOFO you are applying to (particularly section III) for any eligibility requirements.

For more information, visit the Usage of Person Months FAQs page.

Overlap: Types and Resolution

During the JIT Process, NINDS staff will review applications and JIT materials for the following kinds of overlap:

Overlap Type Occurs When

Scientific Overlap

Substantially the same research is proposed in more than one application or is submitted to two or more funding sources for review and consideration. 

A specific research objective and the research design for accomplishing the objective are the same or closely related in two or more applications or awards, regardless of the funding source. 

Budgetary Overlap Duplicate or equivalent budgetary items (e.g., equipment, salaries) are requested in an application but are already provided by another source. 
Commitment Overlap Personnel commit more than 12 Calendar Months of total Other Support. 

Resolution of overlap normally occurs at the time of award in conjunction with applicant institution officials, the principal investigator, and NINDS staff. NINDS staff review Other Support and budget justifications (for modular applications) to determine if any overlap exists. If part of your research plan or scientific effort has already been paid for by NIH or another organization, NINDS will reduce the funding level accordingly.

Special Council Review

For investigators who currently have $2 million total cost or more in funding, your pending applications will have to meet additional requirements. For additional information, visit the NINDS page on Special Council Review.