NIEHS funds a substantial portfolio of research in the field of environmental health sciences conducted by investigators in many disciplines from various universities, organizations, and agencies. These extramural research activities span the range from fundamental, mechanistic, and applied research, spanning from technology development, in vitro and animal models and systems, clinical and epidemiologic studies using human subjects, to community engaged and dissemination and implementation research. NIEHS-supported research is designed to determine how environmental influences influence human health in a variety of human diseases and disorders. Grant applications are awarded and administered by the Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT) and supported by general appropriations as well as distinct appropriations for the Superfund and Worker Training Programs.

NIEHS is also committed to developing the next generation of environmental health scientists. The institute employs funding strategies aimed at introducing talented people at all educational levels to the fields of environmental health sciences and supports a variety of interdisciplinary training programs.

FY 2023 Grants Funding

The total amount of the extramural grants funds awarded in FY 2023 was $444.4M (excluding taps and Superfund). The distribution of those funds is shown below. Information on NIH funding can be found at the NIH Office of Budget.

NIEHS FY 2023 Extramural Grants Distribution

(Excludes Superfund and taps)

FY2023 Extramural Grants Distribution Pie chart



Fiscal Year 2024

NIEHS' budget is determined by Appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 for both the general award budget, the Superfund Research Program and the Worker Training program. For our Health and Human Services appropriations this equates to an estimated $442.1M without taps and an additional $74.8M for Superfund and Worker Training Programs.

Funding Strategies

NIEHS makes its funding decisions based on scientific merit, program balance, responsiveness to the institute's priorities, and availability of funds. Special consideration is also given to applications from New and Early-Stage Investigators when making funding decisions as well as those who are designated by NIH as at-risk. For additional information on NIH resources for new investigators, see Early Stage Investigator Policies.

Each year, following the appropriation of funds, an operating plan is developed that takes into account budgetary set-asides for specific initiatives and allocations for investigator-initiated applications.

  • Competing Awards

    NIEHS allocates the majority of its research project grant funds to applications based on ranked percentile/priority score order. As discussed at the September 2023 meeting of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council, NIEHS has prepared for the budget uncertainty of FY24 by altering our approach to funding strategies for FY24. We have accounted for a decrease in funds available for competing awards in FY24 while still balancing a desire to support meritorious applications aligning with Institute priorities.

    Under our new strategy, funds available for competing awards are allocated proportionally to rank order and select pay applications. For Fiscal Year 2024 this equates to funding most, but not all, R01, R03, and R21 applications up to the 10th percentile. The remaining competing funds will allow for the funding of some applications up to 20th percentile. Factors influencing prioritization of applications above the pay line will include, but may not be limited to:

    • PI Status as an Early Stage, New, or At-risk Investigator
    • Programmatic Priority (including alignment with Institute strategic goals, portfolio balance, and other programmatic factors)

    For the most current information, you are encouraged to check with the appropriate Program Officer.

  • Administrative Budget Reductions

    • Competing Award Reductions

      For FY24, NIEHS has adopted a revised strategy for administrative reductions of 15% to all competing, non-modular, investigator-initiated R01 awards. This replaces our previous progressive reductions based on requested Direct Costs.

    • Noncompeting Awards

      In FY24 noncompeting awards will be issued at 100% of the total competing commitment levels for all out years.

      • Awards supported by the NIEHS appropriations in support of the Superfund Research Program and Worker Training Program may have to be funded at less than previously committed levels.
  • Management of Unobligated Budget Balances

    For FY24, NIEHS will continue a practice of issuing Mid-Project No-Cost Extensions for awards reporting an unobligated balance of 100% or more of the committed funding level for FY24. Projects with a reported unobligated balance of 75% or more may be subject to restructuring or budgetary offsets based on historic and projected spending rates.

    The community is hereby notified that NIEHS intends to implement a policy in FY25 whereby the second year of a competing continuation award (the first type 5 after a type 2) will be subject to a budgetary offset up to the amount of the unobligated balance reported on the Federal Financial Report closing out of the previous competitive segment of the award.