Note a Restriction for Rebudgeting AIDS-Related Research Funds

Funding News Edition: March 02, 2022
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As an NIAID grantee, you may make most cost-related project changes without prior approval from your grants management specialist, including rebudgeting in or out of a budget category by up to 25 percent of the total costs of the award, so long as the scope of your research project remains the same. Conversely, any time you plan to change the scope of your research project, you must first request and receive NIAID’s prior approval as described at Changes to Project or Budget.

We further discuss the matter in our August 18, 2021 article “Recognize What You Need To Change Scope.”

Whenever you plan changes that would shift your research emphasis from one disease area to another, the action likely indicates a change in scope and you thus need to follow the process laid out in our Prior Approvals for Post Award Grant Actions SOP.

Requests To Rebudget AIDS Dollars to Other Diseases

For AIDS-related research awards specifically, our answer to a prior approval request for an action that would shift grant funds to another disease area will nearly always be “no.”

Title XVIII of the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, which established the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) as responsible for coordinating and distributing AIDS-related funding across NIH, prohibits grantees from rebudgeting AIDS-related funds to other disease areas.

“The Director of the Office [of AIDS Research] […] shall […] ensure that all amounts appropriated for [AIDS] activities are expended in accordance with the [comprehensive plan for the conduct and support of all AIDS activities of the agencies of the National Institutes of Health].”

That law remains in effect and serves as the basis for OAR’s NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research. Again, NIAID will not approve requests to change the scope of an award if that change would draw upon AIDS-related research dollars to study an unrelated disease area.

Recent grantees will find a term in the Notice of Award making clear this restriction for AIDS-related research projects.

If you have any questions about this policy or need help assessing a specific post-award action, contact the program officer and grants management specialist assigned to your award.

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