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NIH Record

President's Budget Request for NIH Unveiled

The President's fiscal year 1998 budget request for NIH of $13.078 billion provides a total of $337 million -- or 2.6 percent -- over the FY 1997 estimate.

The federal budget, released Feb. 6, will be defended next month as a series of NIH authorities, starting with director Dr. Harold Varmus, troop to Capitol Hill to testify in support of the request.

Preparations for the budget hearings have been a top priority in Bldg. 1 since the end of the holidays; HHS agencies were invited earlier than usual to the Hill since Secretary Shalala is one of the few cabinet secretaries who is not new in President Clinton's second administration.

Of note in the 1998 request is an increase of $30 million for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which reflects the administration's strengthened efforts to combat drug abuse. The increased funding will further the development of a medication for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

Of seven major mechanisms through which NIH disburses its funds -- research project grants, research centers, other research, research training, R&D contracts, intramural program, and research management and support -- only this last category fails to realize a modest gain in funding; the RM&S budget remains at the 1997 level in order to maximize funds for research.

Areas of major emphasis in the budget include:

  • Research project grants, which fund basic biomedical research, increase by about 4 percent over the 1997 level. The FY 1998 request supports 7,112 competing RPGs.
  • The new Clinical Research Center, which received $90 million in last year's appropriation, is set to receive another $90 million in FY 1998 to keep the project rolling.
  • Training for 15,003 full-time pre- and postdoctoral trainees is included in the request.
  • Several areas of scientific emphasis including the biology of brain disorder (+$36.7 million), new approaches to pathogenesis (+$34.6 million), new preventive strategies against disease (+$51.1 million), new avenues for development of therapeutics (+$39.8 million), genetic medicine (+$40.9 million), and advanced instrumentation and computers in medicine and research (+$20 million).

More detailed information on the President's budget request for NIH can be found at: http://www.nih.gov/news/Budget98/BUDGET98.HTM.


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