A Synopsis of January’s Advisory Council Meeting

Funding News Edition: February 16, 2022
See more articles in this edition

Dr. Lyric Jorgenson

NIH envisions a cultural change among its grantees in the stewardship of scientific data generated by NIH-supported research.

Credit: NIH Office of Science Policy

Once again, the open session of NIAID’s Advisory Council meeting was virtual. Historically speaking, this was the 200th meeting of our Advisory Council. If you were unable to view the videocast live on January 31, watch the recording at NIAID Advisory Council Meeting—January 2022.

Director’s Remarks

Dr. Fauci opened by welcoming Dr. Keith Jerome as he begins his service as an Advisory Council member and Dr. Rafi Ahmed and Dr. Julie McElrath, each adhoc members of the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Subcommittee.

To acquaint—or reacquaint—yourself with those serving on our Advisory Council, go to Biographical Sketches of NIAID Council Members.

Dr. Fauci then discussed the resignation in December 2021 of Dr. Francis Collins from his longtime position as NIH director. Dr. Collins led NIH for more than 12 years under three U.S. presidents, which makes him the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director. We at NIAID wish him all the best as he continues to lead his lab at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra named Dr. Larry Tabak as the acting NIH director. Dr. Tara Schwetz will serve as acting NIH principal deputy director and Dr. Shelma Middleton Little will serve as acting director of NIH’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Also of note, President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Rob Califf to be FDA commissioner.

Dr. Fauci recognized a trio of new branch and section chiefs at NIAID. Dr. Fatima Jones is now chief of the Drug Development and Clinical Sciences Branch in the Therapeutics Research Program in the Division of AIDS. Dr. Masaru Kanekiyo is chief of our Vaccine Research Center’s new Molecular ImmunoEngineering Section and Respiratory Viruses Core. Dr. Carolina Barillas-Mury is now chief of the Division of Intramural Research’s Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, taking over for Dr. Tom Wellems, who will continue as chief of the Malaria Genetics Section.

A Favorite Topic: The Budget

At the time of Dr. Fauci’s presentation, NIAID was operating under a continuing resolution (CR) set to expire on February 18, 2022. As of this newsletter’s publication, NIAID continues to operate under the same CR meaning NIH and NIAID are being funded temporarily at the previous fiscal year’s (FY) budget level.

Dr. Fauci discussed separate spending bills passed in the House of Representatives and Senate. Relative to the NIH budget of $42.9 billion enacted in FY 2021, the House bill would increase NIH’s overall budget by 15.1 percent and the Senate bill would increase NIH’s overall budget by 11.6 percent.

NIAID specifically would receive a large budget increase of 8.0 percent under the House bill and a more moderate increase of 4.5 percent under the Senate bill. Much of the planned increases are designated as earmarks for universal flu vaccine, rapid vaccine platform technologies, and other disease-specific areas, so the budget increase available for new research programs, including investigator-initiated research, is closer to 4.0 percent in the House bill and 2.5 percent in the Senate bill.

Dr. Fauci also acknowledged NIAID’s good fortune to have received budget increases for five consecutive years, beginning in FY 2016.

Interim Financial Management Plan

Our interim R01 payline for FY 2022 is set at the 10 percentile with new investigators funded at the 14 percentile. NIAID does not plan to make programmatic cuts to noncompeting and competing grants. Competing programmatic research initiatives have been cut up to 20 percent from their planned budget levels. This information is reflected on our Paylines & Funding pages.

FY 2022 success rates for research project grants are likely to range between 18 and 22 percent.

COVID-19 Funding

Through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, NIAID received supplemental appropriations of $1.5 billion in funding available through September 30, 2024.

Of that total, NIAID has already provided $1.23 billion in support of extramural and intramural investigators to address the scientific areas that are most critical to understanding the disease and advancing medical countermeasures.

The remaining $307 million will be allocated to address the most urgent public health and scientific research needs. A significant portion is committed to funding ongoing extramural and intramural projects and $27 million will support infrastructure needs within NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center.

Other NIH institutes collectively received $3.3 billion as part of a broader comprehensive response to the pandemic. This money supports initiatives like Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) and Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx).

Additionally, HHS provided supplemental funding to support advanced development of medical countermeasures and the Antiviral Program for Pandemics.

Legislative and Outreach Activities

Dr. Fauci’s recent appearances included testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in a hearing titled “Next Steps: The Road Ahead for the COVID-19 Response.” He again testified before the same Committee about the ongoing federal response to COVID-19 and efforts to address the Omicron variant. 

Outside of hearings, Dr. Fauci highlighted his participation in a townhall meeting with Representative Anna Eshoo, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing federal response. 

He also discussed his participation in the White House Tribal Nations Summit, the first formal convening of tribal leaders and agency officials hosted by the White House since 2016, as well as his many virtual meetings with international delegations and chief medical officers from around the globe.

Dr. Fauci summarized that in Congressional briefings and elsewhere, discussions frequently focus on what we know about how prior COVID-19 infection, vaccination, and boosters contribute to an individual’s level of protection, as well as the need to develop better therapeutics and more durable and broadly protective vaccines now and going forward as new variants emerge. 

Guest Presentation: NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

Dr. Lyric Jorgenson, the acting NIH associate director for science policy and acting director of NIH’s Office of Science Policy, discussed plans to implement the Final Policy for NIH Data Management and Sharing. The Policy goes into effect on January 25, 2023, and replaces data sharing guidelines originally set in 2003.

The Policy sets expectations for NIH grant applicants to submit a data sharing and management plan and, if funded, comply with their submitted plan. NIH envisions a cultural change among its grantees in the stewardship of scientific data generated by NIH-supported research. Peer reviewers will evaluate plans to ensure the proposed budget adequately supports data management and sharing. NIH program staff will assess the adequacy of the plans to meet scientific requirements as identified in the Policy.

Dr. Jorgenson clarified that all scientific data should be managed, though not necessarily shared. The term “scientific data” includes not only data underlining publications, but also null results. Data should be shared no later than at the time of research publication or, for unpublished data, at the end of the grant award.

Further, data sharing should be maximized, albeit with justified limitations based on protection of privacy, rights, and confidentiality as well as existing laws and regulations. To that end, NIH recently published a Request for Public Comments on DRAFT Supplemental Information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing: Responsible Management and Sharing of American Indian/Alaska Native Participant Data.

To watch Dr. Jorgenson’s presentation, start at the 44-minute mark in the NIAID Advisory Council Meeting—January 2022 videocast.         

Subcommittee Summaries

At each Council session, scientific subcommittees review and approve concepts for NIAID initiatives, which are targeted research funding opportunities. While not all approved concepts become funding opportunities later, concepts highlight NIAID research interests and can be good topics for investigator-initiated applications.

NIAID scientific staff present our January concepts and subcommittees discuss them in the following videocast recordings:

Find text summaries of the approved concepts on these webpages:

For a list of other approved concepts, see Concepts—Potential Opportunities. To receive an email when we post new concepts, sign up at NIAID Email Alerts Subscription Center.

Save the Date

The next Advisory Council meeting will be held virtually on June 6, 2022. We hope you will tune in.

Contact Us

Email us at deaweb@niaid.nih.gov for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

Content last reviewed on