When Congress boosts the NIH budget midyear weird stuff happens

April 19, 2018

Interesting comment about NIGMS recent solicitation of supplement applications for capital equipment infrastructure.


If true this says some interesting things about whether NIH will ever do anything to reduce churn, increase paylines and generally make things more livable for their extramural workforce.

9 Responses to “When Congress boosts the NIH budget midyear weird stuff happens”

  1. becca Says:

    Hmm. Are you sure you aren’t a car commuter looking at the DOT repairing bridges and wondering why they don’t just add more lanes to reduce traffic?

    (for those that don’t know- adding more lanes doesn’t reduce traffic, people just drive more)

    I actually think that overall the ARRA funds were spent pretty sensibly- I got the impression that there was a meaningful effort to spread it around and ensure it got used quickly, but not to expand the total mouths at the trough. If that’s true, we “know” how to spend “extra” money. But reducing paylines may make institutions greedy- we’ve got a lot of bright shiny new lab space that our institution would just love to fill with faculty members bringing in more juicy indirects and I doubt we’re alone.


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    I am pretty sure you’ve read my calls to reduce the number of cars on the road, aka mouths at the trough, becca.


  3. Ola Says:

    Any idea how GM keeps such high paylines? Hint – cut the everloving shit out of everyone’s budget higher up the list! I’m all for “spreadin’ it around”, but when I get an ZOMFG most excellent score on a modular budget R01, I expect the full budget dammit! Not 2 modules axed fom the get-go, plus all that continuing resolution crap as-and-when. All so they can pick-up a 27% straggler who’d be SOOL elsewhere.


  4. girlparts Says:

    WTF? NICHD is still at ~ 10%. And even some of those aren’t getting funded – I know a few P grants unfunded despite ranking 2 or 3. And my university is hemorrhaging faculty. We’re down ~25% in two departments I’m associated with from not replacing anybody after normal retirements, forced early retirements, and leaving-for-places-occasional-raises. Don’t worry, we’ll all die out soon and leave you less mouths at the trough.


  5. drugmonkey Says:

    I don’t want die off. I want reasonable birth control measures.


  6. girlparts Says:

    Sorry. Bad week. We all want steady, sustainable funding.


  7. drugmonkey Says:

    I wonder if NICHD paylines are a lasting result of Insel’s purge of basic behavioral research from NIMH?


  8. DNAman Says:

    NIGMS doesn’t have a payline at 30%. Their council just exerts a lot of discretion with proposals, as they should.

    It’s more like a few lucky proposals with a score in the 30th percentile were funded, but lots of applications that scored in the 20s did not get funded.

    See https://loop.nigms.nih.gov/2011/01/fiscal-year-2010-r01-funding-outcomes-and-estimates-for-fiscal-year-2011/


  9. Girlparts Says:

    Nichd’s problem is mostly large clinal trial networks


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