NIGMS Funding Policies

The goal of NIGMS funding policies is to maximize the scientific impact of investments in investigator-initiated biomedical research to drive fundamental scientific discoveries that advance understanding of human health and disease. To address this goal, the Institute strives to support a broad and diverse portfolio of research grants of high scientific and technical merit, as determined by peer review, in its mission areas.

However, in deciding to fund any application, NIGMS staff also considers other factors, including:

  • the breadth and diversity of the Institute’s research portfolio, approaches and investigators;
  • the total amount of funding available to the laboratory;
  • and the priority of the research area for the Institute’s mission.
Because these factors are considered, NIGMS does not have a “payline” or strict cutoff in scores that it will fund.

It is important to understand that even applications with outstanding scores might not be funded if the investigator already has substantial other support.

Additionally, because NIGMS prioritizes funding for meritorious investigators who otherwise would not have support over providing additional grants to already well-funded investigators, the Institute is unlikely to award more than two NIGMS R01s to a PI.

In calculating budgets for grants, NIGMS staff considers each budget carefully and takes into account the science being conducted, the other support for the PI’s lab, the Institute’s budget, and other factors. PIs should not assume that they will be awarded the amount recommended by the study section.

Applicants are encouraged to contact NIGMS program staff with questions.