Funding mechanisms and program management at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: confronting new challenges and exploring new opportunities

Susan B. Shurin


Over the past 8 years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget appropriation has lost purchasing power, with erosion of the benefits of the doubling of the budget less than a decade ago. For the first time in 40 years, the NIH appropriation in fiscal year 2011 was 1% less than in the previous year. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has been closely managing its funds to protect its core functions: support and conduct of research, and training of biomedical research scientists. Rigorous evaluations of funding mechanisms, management of clinical studies, set-aside programs and funding guidelines are designed to help the Institute, in consultation with its advisory council, to minimize the long-term impact of extreme resource limitations on the advance and conduct of science. This report describes some recent actions taken by the NHLBI to maximize support for investigator-initiated research, maintain a balanced portfolio, and provide as much support as possible for established and early-stage investigators.

  • Submitted August 9, 2011.
  • Accepted August 12, 2011.
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