National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Funding Strategy: Fiscal Year 2002

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Budget Data

Appropriated Funds

Each year, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) receives an appropriation of funds from Congress. NCCAM's Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 appropriation is $104.6 million. This figure reflects a 17.3% increase over the FY 2001 appropriation of $89.2 million.

Research Project Grants

In FY 2002, the Research Project Grant (RPG) portion of the NCCAM budget represents 42% of the total budget.

It is anticipated that NCCAM will fund approximately 153 RPGs at a total of $44.3 million in FY 2002. This is an increase of 26 RPGs and $5.5 million compared to FY 2001. The increase reflects the upward trend in the number of grant applications NCCAM is receiving. Since FY 1999, there has been a 22-fold growth in grant applications received.

Success Rates

NCCAM estimates that the success rate for competing grant applications will be approximately 8% in FY 2002. This figure is a decrease from the FY 2001 success rate of 17%, reflecting in part the large increase in applications.

[Note: The success rate represents the percentage of new applications funded as a percentage of the total number of new applications received.]

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Research Funding Strategy

NCCAM's strategy for spending its research funds in FY 2002 is outlined below.

Research Project Grants (RPGs)

  1. Non-Competing RPGs
    1. NCCAM will fund previously awarded, non-competing (Type 5) RPGs at the level committed on the prior Notice of Grant Award before any new or competing awards are made.
    2. Yearly increases for non-competing nonmodular grants will be capped at 3%.
  2. Competing RPGs

    NCCAM uses the following steps to decide which grants it will fund each fiscal year:

    1. Determine the scientific merit of each grant application and its relevance to our program objectives.

      To do this, NCCAM uses the two-level peer review system in place across the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes evaluation by scientists and practitioners who volunteer to serve on our study sections. The National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NACCAM) provides a second level of review.

    2. Establish a priority score payline for both new and competing continuation grants.

      Each fiscal year a payline is identified based on the number and cost of RPG applications we have under consideration and our assessment of funds remaining for that year. NCCAM may make additional awards at the end of the fiscal year for applications whose scores fall close to, but outside of, the payline determined earlier in the year.

  3. Award Levels
    1. Current NCCAM policy is to award new grants at the level(s) recommended by the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with the exception of adjustments for specific programmatic and administrative purposes.
    2. Awards will be modular for all applications recommended at less than $250,000 direct costs in any given year of support and categorical for those recommended at more than $250,000 in any year of support.
    3. For competing renewal (Type 2) awards, the budgets will be capped at 20% over the previous year's funding.
  4. Duration of RPGs
    1. By law, NIH must maintain the overall average length of RPGs at four years or less.

      To achieve this average, the NCCAM will award four years of support for many applications that requested and were recommended for five years by the NACCAM.

    2. NCCAM will make a limited number of five-year awards. These will be based on scientific merit, type of research (e.g., clinical trial or prospective cohort study) and relevance to NCCAM's mission.

Request for Applications

  1. Grant applications submitted in response to a Request for Applications (RFA) will compete for, and, if successful, be paid from, a pool of money that has been set aside specifically for that RFA.
  2. If NCCAM receives an insufficient number of meritorious applications in response to a given RFA, the unspent funds may be used to support additional, meritorious investigator-initiated applications.

September 2002

 


 

For information about previous funding strategies:

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