Fiscal Year 2012 Budget
Major changes by budget mechanism and/or budget program detail are briefly described below. Note that there may be overlap between budget mechanism and activity detail and these highlights will not sum to the total change for the FY 2012 budget request for NIEHS, which is $11.091 million more than the FY 2010 level, for a total of $700.537 million.
Research Project Grants (RPGs) (-$3.368 million; total $265.846 million): NIEHS expects to support a total of 669 RPG awards in FY 2012. Noncompeting RPGs will increase by 9 awards and decrease by $2.354 million from the FY 2010 level. Competing RPGs will decrease by 3 awards and $321 thousand. The NIH Budget policy for RPGs in FY 2012 is to provide an inflationary increase of 1% for noncompeting awards and allow a 1% increase in the average cost of competing RPGs. NIEHS will continue to support new investigators in FY 2012.
Clinical and Translational Research: Bench to Bedside to Public Health (+$22.380 million; total $201.787 million): Additional funding in this program will be used to support a number of initiatives. A new research effort is getting underway to find biological markers of mitochondrial dysfunction, which is associated with numerous chronic diseases including Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, blindness, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Funds in the Clinical and Translational Research program are also supporting the development of a new translational research program called “ViCTER”: Virtual Consortium for Translational/Transdisciplinary Environmental Research.” A third initiative is intended to support efforts to examine the differential risk factors of populations that reflect increased vulnerability to exposures, diseases, and other adverse health outcomes that are linked to, or likely to result from, climate change.
Toxicity Testing and Evaluation (+$3.132 million; total $85.359 million): The additional funds will be used to support cooperative agreements to assist in the creation of refined toxicology methods to evaluate long-term outcomes from exposures during development.
Basic Mechanisms in Human Biology (-$23.593 million; total $121.692 million): The decrease in the resources provided to the Basic Mechanisms in Human Biology program reflects the completion of a number of initiatives undertaken over the past five years. These include earlier work on comparative biology approaches for studying environmental susceptibility; environmental influences on epigenetic regulation; and gene/environment interactions in neurodegeneration. For some of this work, this change in funding represents a maturation of the field towards research with human tissues and subjects, which is reflected in the proposed increase in the Clinical and Translational Research program.