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Vol. LVIII, No. 4
February 24, 2006

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2007 Budget Even with FY 2006

On the front page...

President Bush's budget request for NIH in fiscal year 2007, announced Feb. 6, totals $28.587 billion, the same budget level as FY 2006.

Viewed in perspective, the FY 06 budget itself was notable as the first time since 1970 that NIH had a reduction in dollars relative to the year before. The bottom line for FY 06 stands at about $60 million below that of FY 2005.

The FY 2007 President's request is therefore 0.2 percent below FY 05 and equal to FY 06.


Emphases within the President's 2007 budget include funding for several trans-NIH strategic initiatives: biodefense; enhanced support for new investigators; the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research; the Genes and Environment Initiative; the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award program; management innovations; and pandemic influenza.

In the field of biodefense, the budget calls for $1.891 billion, an increase of $110 million and 6.2 percent over FY 06. Within this increase, NIH will direct $160 million to an advanced development fund supporting efforts to work with academia and industry to develop candidate countermeasures from the point of investigational new drug applications to the level that these might qualify for acquisition by Project BioShield.

NIH will invest $15 million in a new "Pathway to Independence" program to provide increased support for new investigators (see NIH Record, Feb. 10, 2006).

The Roadmap for Medical Research has three themes: New Pathways to Discovery (slated for $181 million); Multidisciplinary Research Teams of the Future (to receive $81 million); and Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise ($181 million). NIH will direct a total of $443 million towards Roadmap initiatives, an increase of $113 million over the FY 06 appropriation. This total arises from a $111 million contribution from the NIH Director's Discretionary Fund and $332 million contributed by the NIH institutes and centers. The IC contributions represent 1.2 percent of each individual budget request for FY 07.

NIH also allocated $40 million to the ICs to support a Genes and Environment Initiative, a multi-year plan to identify major genetic susceptibility factors for common diseases like heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease, while developing technologies to assess risk factors in diet, physical activity, and environmental exposure. This plan was announced Feb. 8 at a joint press conference held by NHGRI and NIEHS (see story).

The Clinical and Translational Sciences Award program will combine existing NIH programs such as the General Clinical Research Centers in the National Center for Research Resources, as well as Roadmap initiatives in the Re-engineering the Clinical Research theme. Several full awards, as well as planning grants in FY 06 and 07 will increase as existing GCRCs complete current funding cycles and recompete these transformational awards. The FY 07 budget for this combined program is estimated to be $361 million.

NIH will improve the management of its biomedical and behavioral research portfolio. The newly formed Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives will develop methods to assist the agency in assessing its large and complex portfolio, coordinate trans-NIH evaluation efforts and provide a transparent process for identifying important scientific initiatives that cut across or fall between missions of institutes and centers.

A link to a summary of the FY 07 President's budget can be found on the NIH home page under Medical Research Issues.

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