NIAID Paylines and Budget Information Changes Throughout the Year
At the start of the fiscal year. If we don't have a budget, we don't have fiscal year paylines yet.
When we begin the fiscal year operating under a continuing resolution, we pay some grants using interim paylines. These are not true paylines because they are not based on budget calculations. An interim payline is simply an administrative measure that lets us get some top-scoring grants out the door while we await our appropriation.
After we have a budget. Our budget office calculates how much money we have to fund new investigator-initiated applications based on the new appropriation. Two factors play a big role in this calculation:
- Most of the money is already accounted for. It pays for existing grants, which are on average a four-year commitment as well as, to a much smaller extent, the set-asides mentioned above.
- Budgeting for incoming investigator-initiated applications is tricky because we don't know the quality of applications that will come to us from future review cycles.
As a result, we set paylines conservatively to make sure we will have enough funds to pay high-quality grants for the entire year and meet any congressional mandates that may arise; for example, for AIDS or Ebola.
Because the timing of our annual appropriation varies each year, we cannot give you exact dates for incoming payline information.
Ending the fiscal year. Because we set the paylines with some wiggle room, we usually have money to spend as we approach the end of the fiscal year.
For R01s, we typically use our initial payline until August. At that point, we start funding applications nominated for selective pay and applications that missed the payline until all remaining money runs out.
For grant types other than the R01, we may change a payline mid-year. So if you apply for one of those, check the payline online after you get your summary statement and before you talk to your program officer about your prospects for funding.
Because of this fluid situation, our pages reflect different information at different times of the fiscal year. We update the pages using the following cycle:
- The new fiscal year starts on October 1. Typically, we don't have a budget right away and operate under a continuing resolution.
- NIAID sets very conservative administrative (interim) paylines for R01s and may also do so for other grant types. We send Email Alerts to notify you.
- A continuing resolution is one of many factors that can delay our ability to set paylines for the fiscal year.
- After NIH gets a budget, it takes our budget office several weeks at a minimum to crunch the numbers. Don't expect to see actual paylines or Financial Management Plan details immediately.
- Over the next several weeks or even months, we post NIAID Paylines for all grant types.
- First we usually get the R01 payline—or paylines if we have a separate payline for new investigators.
- The R01 fiscal year paylines typically remain in effect until the end of the fiscal year.
- We get other fiscal year paylines later; they may change at any time.
- We send an Email Alert to subscribers whenever we set or revise our paylines.
- Toward the end of the fiscal year, we keep the paylines posted for reference. However, sometime around August, the paylines are less relevant for the following reasons:
- Applications reviewed at May Council that were within the paylines are already funded or committed for funding.
- Applications for September Council will be funded next fiscal year. See step 1 above.
- Because we set conservative paylines, we generally have extra money at the end of the fiscal year to pay selective pay applications and others that missed the paylines until the money runs out.
- At the end of the fiscal year, September 30, we move the final payline numbers to Archive of Final NIAID Paylines by Fiscal Year.
- See step 1 above.
As you can see, many information items above are tied to the timing of the fiscal year budget.
We also get some information by calendar year; the Salary Caps and Stipends are announced in NIH Guide notices that are typically published in December or January of each year.
Your program officer can give you application advice, NIAID's perspective on your research, and confirmation that NIAID will accept your application. You can find your POs contact information in your eRA Commons account or on your summary statement.