National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Funding Strategy: Fiscal Year 2005

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Introduction

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) distributes its resources among many programs and mechanisms. The Center is committed to funding the largest number of meritorious projects possible, while allowing the flexibility needed to support selected program priorities and to respond to emerging scientific opportunities.

The Center establishes general guidelines for funding based on the overall NCCAM appropriation, allowing for necessary adjustments throughout the year to reflect directives from Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as emerging program priorities. Each fiscal year, once an appropriation has been received, NCCAM develops an operating plan for funding research and training grants. Many factors that occur throughout the fiscal year can affect the operating policies, thus the policies may be subject to change.

Budget Data

Appropriated Funds: The FY 2004 Appropriation for NCCAM was $117.7 million. The FY 2005 appropriation for NCCAM is $123.1 million, which represents a 4.6 percent increase over the FY 2004 appropriation

Success Rate: The success rate represents the number of competing research project grant applications funded as a percentage of the total number of new applications received. NCCAM's success rate in FY 2003 was 17 percent. In FY 2004 it was 17 percent.

Research Funding Guidelines

The FY 2005 funding guidelines that follow are applicable for the entire fiscal year. Based on the availability of funds, NCCAM will use the following guidelines for funding Research Project Grants (RPG).

Non-Competing Awards (Type 5): NCCAM will follow the NIH policy to pay committed levels for non-competing continuation awards as reflected on the FY 2004 Notice of Grant Award. However, NCCAM retains the right to reduce the level when necessary and appropriate. For example, such reductions would be made to eliminate any overlapping support identified or if a change in project scope was to occur.

New and Competing RPG Awards (Type 1): NCCAM will make competing awards using the following general priority score payline.

  • Exploratory/Development Grants (R21): Applications that receive priority scores of 160 and below will be awarded the recommended allowable direct costs.
  • Research Project Grants (R01): Applications that receive priority scores of 160 and below will be funded at 100 percent of the recommended allowable direct costs; applications that receive priority scores of 161 through 170 will be funded at 94 percent of the recommended allowable direct costs; applications that receive priority scores of 171 through 185 will be funded at 88 percent of the recommended allowable direct costs.

Duration of RPGs: NIH must maintain the overall average length of RPGs at 4 years or less. To achieve this average, NCCAM will award 4 years of support for many applications that requested and were recommended for 5 years. NCCAM may make a limited number of 5-year awards. These will be determined on a case-by-case review of scientific merit. Principal Investigators conducting studies that cannot be accommodated within 4 years should contact the relevant NCCAM Program Officer before submitting an application.

Future year commitments on the Notice of Grant Award will reflect the NIH standard annual 3 percent escalation on recurring costs (e.g., personnel, supplies). The annual 3 percent escalation does not apply to Modular Grants.

Research Conference Grants (R13): NCCAM will continue to support scientific meetings, conferences, and workshops that are relevant to its scientific mission and to public health objectives. Support is contingent on NCCAM's interests and priorities as well as the level of financial investment that NCCAM determines is appropriate.

Competing Renewal Awards (Type 2): Funding levels may increase by no more than 8 percent in Direct Costs over the last non-competing Notice of Grant Award.

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