When reporting other support, applicants should describe their other research projects in sufficient detail that NIGMS staff and Council members can determine the differences between the proposed NIGMS project and research supported by other sources. Applicants are encouraged to explain any appearance of overlapping research goals and should report the time commitment to each existing project.
In May 2021, the NAGMS Council adopted updated operating procedures regarding support of research in well-funded laboratories. This is now defined as those with over $1,500,000 in annual total costs for research support (including the application under consideration) at the time of the Council meeting. Staff evaluates the other support information and makes recommendations to the Council about possible consideration for funding. If the Council does not concur with a staff recommendation for possible funding, the grant will not be funded.
For both renewal (Type 2) and new (Type 1) grant applications from well-funded laboratories, the Council expects the Institute to support projects only if they are highly promising and distinct from other funded work in the laboratory and only when the principal investigator has sufficient time to commit to overseeing the totality of his/her laboratory's research activities. Though Council review and oversight isn’t required, the Council expects the Institute to implement, where appropriate, reasoned budget reductions for awards made to laboratories with less than $1,500,000 in annual total costs.
Because research funds are limited and many outstanding biomedical scientists are deserving of support, NIGMS believes that, to sustain the research enterprise and maximize opportunities for significant scientific advances, it is essential to have a broad research portfolio with a wide array of investigators and topics. Awarding R01s and other research grants to investigators with substantial levels of long-term, unrestricted research funding requires careful consideration, because these researchers already have resources from other agencies or organizations that support overall research programs rather than individual projects. Although moderate levels of additional research funding to such well-supported investigators can in some instances produce significant returns on NIGMS’ investment, these investments need to be carefully managed to ensure that the Institute’s research portfolio is optimally diversified and that it can support as many talented and productive research groups as possible.
In advising potential applicants and making funding decisions, NIGMS staff carefully considers each investigator’s overall research support, including institutional support.
Investigators with substantial, long-term, unrestricted research support may generally hold no more than one NIGMS research grant. For the purposes of these guidelines, investigators with substantial, long-term, unrestricted support (“unrestricted investigators”) would have at least $400,000 in unrestricted support (direct costs per year excluding the principal investigator’s salary and direct support of widely shared institutional resources, such as NMR facilities) that extends at least 2 years beyond the onset of funding the NIGMS grant. As in all cases, if NIGMS funding of a grant to an investigator with substantial, long-term, unrestricted support would result in annual total costs from all sources exceeding $1,500,000, National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council approval is required.
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