Supplemental Appropriations Bolster NIAID's COVID-19 Response

Funding News Edition: May 20, 2020
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This spring, NIAID received a total of $1.532 billion from Congress to support our research response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). For perspective, NIAID's annual appropriation for fiscal year (FY) 2020 was $5.885 billion.

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which became law on March 6, 2020, provides NIAID with $826 million in supplemental appropriations. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which became law on March 27, 2020, provides NIAID with an additional $706 million in supplemental appropriations. Congress designated both amounts as being for an emergency requirement, which empowers NIAID to expedite awards. The funds will remain available until September 30, 2024.

NIAID submitted a spending plan to Congress that allocates funds to address immediate and long-term needs for vaccine and therapeutic development, diagnostics, basic research, research resources, epidemiology, and research facilities construction. We will adjust the initial spending plan depending on the most critical public health and scientific research needs.

A third bill, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, became law on April 23, 2020. It provides several other NIH institutes and centers (ICs) with over $1.8 billion to accelerate research, development, and implementation of point-of-care, serologic, and other rapid testing related to COVID-19.

In total, ICs received the following supplemental appropriations through the three bills.

  • $1.532 billion for NIAID
  • $1.03 billion for the NIH Office of the Director
  • $560 million for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
  • $306 million for the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • $103.4 million for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • $36 million for the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
  • $10 million for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • $10 million for the National Library of Medicine

Investigators developing diagnostics for point-of-care and other rapid testing related to COVID-19 may be interested in funding opportunities from NIBIB—see NIBIB Response to COVID-19. If your research centers on serological testing and associated technologies related to COVID-19, check for funding from NCI—see Coronavirus: Guidance for Cancer Researchers. Investigators focused on host response associated with heart, lung, and blood diseases, potential impacts on transfusion safety, and clinical outcomes of infected individuals should consider applying for funding from NHLBI—see NHLBI's COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers.

The influx of funding for COVID-19 research has placed additional workload on NIAID staff, most of whom are now teleworking. Nevertheless, we expect to make awards with minimal disruption to grantees conducting research in our non-coronavirus portfolios. To learn more about our regular appropriations process, read Background on NIAID Funding Opportunity Planning and the Budget Cycle and check NIAID’s FY 2020 Financial Management Plan.

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