NCCIH Funding Strategy Fiscal Year 2023
In general, grants will be funded in rank order, based on either priority/impact score or percentile (if available), and for groups of similar types of applications. Additional considerations will include program relevance and need, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s (NCCIH’s) strategic priorities, duplication of ongoing research, availability of funds, and recommendations by the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health (NACCIH).
Future Year Commitments of FY 2023 New and Competing Renewal Awards
NCCIH’s funding policy is to award competing research project grants (RPGs) in accordance with the Notice of Fiscal Policies in Effect for FY 2023 (NOT-OD-23-071) and in compliance with the Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2023 (NOT-OD-23-072).
Duration of NCCIH Grants
Most grants are funded for the full length of their Council-recommended project period, including grants to early-stage investigators, clinical trial grants, program project grants, career development grants, and training grants. For R01-equivalent research project grants, competing awards are often adjusted to achieve a 4‑year average duration.
For FY 2023, NCCIH has established “funding zones” for most budget/grant mechanisms including: research project grants, program project grants, career development awards, training grants, and small business programs. Within each budget/grant mechanism, there are different types of grant activity codes (e.g., R01, R21, K08, K23, etc.) that subdivide a given budget/grant mechanism and that may have different funding zones. A table is provided below of the funding zones for each activity code.
A funding zone for a given type of application (i.e., its activity code) describes a zone of priority/impact scores (and percentiles, if available) that indicate that an application will be considered for potential funding. This does not guarantee funding or imply a commitment to fund; it simply indicates funding consideration. Funding zones are not applicable to applications submitted in response to requests for applications (RFA) or program announcements with set-asides (PAS).
Using these funding zones, applicants may compare the impact score/percentile of their application assigned to NCCIH (which is provided in the application’s Summary Statement) to assess the likelihood that their application may be awarded. If a percentile is available, then it determines the funding zone rather than the priority/impact score. Applications scoring within an applicable funding zone are more likely to be awarded than those scoring outside a funding zone. Applicants who have questions about their application should directly contact the program officer assigned to their application (listed in the Summary Statement).
Table of Funding Zones by Budget/Grant Mechanism and Activity Code
Note: These funding zones reflect funding for FY 2023 and are not indicative of funding for FY 2024.
|Budget/Grant Mechanism||Activity Code||Impact Score (ESI*)||Percentile|
*ESI: Early-Stage Investigator
Funding Guidelines for Budget/Grant Mechanisms
Research Project Grants:
- New Competing Research Project Grants
New competing grants will be awarded at the Council-recommended level, except for specific programmatic, budgetary, and/or administrative adjustments. Typically, investigator-initiated, R01-equivalent awards** will have a 15 percent reduction of the award, including the out-year commitments. All applications that do not exceed $250,000 in direct costs in any given year of support in the recommended competitive segment will be awarded under the modular paradigm. Applications requesting direct costs that exceed $250,000 in any year of support in the recommended competitive segment will be awarded with categorical budgets.
- New and Early Stage Investigators—NCCIH will continue to support new and early stage investigators by seeking to equalize the success rates between new/early stage investigators and established investigators for new competing (Type 1) R01 and first renewal (Type 2) applications, in accordance with the National Institutes of Health guidelines, as described in the Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2023 (NOT-OD-23-072) and the Policy Supporting the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NOT-OD-17-101). In line with this policy, NCCIH prioritizes awards to early-stage investigators by establishing a separate funding zone, applicable for R01 and R01-equivalent award activity codes.
- Competing Renewal Grants (Type 2—Modular to Modular)
For competing renewal grants that were modular awards in the preceding competitive segment and will have no more than $250,000 in direct costs in any given year of the recommended competitive segment, NCCIH will award at the NACCIH-recommended direct cost amount, except for specific programmatic, budgetary, and/or administrative adjustments. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs for first-tier consortia are not considered in the direct cost base when calculating the maximum that can be requested.
- Continuation Awards (Type 5—Noncompeting Renewal)
NCCIH will award Type 5 research project grants in the current 2023 fiscal year at the commitment level indicated on the Notice of Award. Noncompeting awards will be issued without cost-of-living/inflationary adjustments; however, adjustments for special needs (such as equipment and added personnel) will continue to be accommodated. This policy applies to both modular and nonmodular grants.
- Transition Awards (Type 4—Noncompeting Renewal)
Transition Awards are those that typically have two distinct phases (i.e., phase 1 and phase 2), where awards of the second phase depend on having met specified milestones and/or other specified pre-conditions during the phase 1 award. Examples of transition grants include the following phased activity codes: R21/R33, R61/R33, UG3/UH3, and K99/R00. Milestones are established pre-award and include not only specific content but also the time in which the milestones must be accomplished. Funding of the second phase is not guaranteed, and meeting milestones (including the specified content and timeline) is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition. For some programs, only a portion of the grantees are anticipated to transition to the second phase. All transition applications are assessed by NCCIH program staff to determine whether they met their specified milestones. The award of a second phase is also contingent on availability of funds and programmatic relevance and priorities. Awards for noncompeting transition applications selected in the current 2023 fiscal year will be issued at the commitment level indicated on the Notice of Award.
- Program Project Grants
For new competing (Type 1) grants, the direct cost award will not exceed $1,250,000. F&A costs associated with first-tier subcontracts are not included in the direct cost ceiling. Noncompeting (i.e., Type 5, continuation) grants will be awarded at 100 percent of the commitment level. Annual increases for recurring costs in noncompeting years are not allowed.
- Career Development Grants
Competing career grants will be awarded at the Council-recommended level, except for specific programmatic, budgetary, and/or administrative adjustments. Noncompeting (i.e., Type 5, continuation) grants will be awarded at 100 percent of the commitment level. Awards issued previously will be revised in accordance with this policy. Noncompeting awards will be issued without cost-of-living/inflationary adjustments.
- Training Grants—Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards
Fellowship and institutional training awards will be made consistent with annual Federal appropriations. The full range of current stipend levels is described in Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2023 (NOT-OD-23-076).
- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs
SBIR and STTR grants will be awarded at the Council-recommended levels, except for specific programmatic, budgetary, and/or administrative adjustments. Noncompeting (i.e., Type 5, continuation) grants will be awarded at 100 percent of the commitment level. Awards issued previously will be revised in accordance with this policy. Noncompeting awards will be issued without cost-of-living/inflationary adjustments.
**R01-equivalent award activity codes: DP1, DP2, DP5, R01, R37, R56, RF1, RL1, U01, and R35.
Updated August 2023