publication date: Apr. 13, 2018

Sharpless: Expect a big boost to NCI’s RPG pool

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

NCI’s Research Project Grant pool is likely to receive the largest increase in funding in 16 years, NCI Director Norman “Ned” Sharpless said at an NCI Town Hall meeting April 10.

The increase is made possible by a $3 billion raise to NIH’s budget that translates into $275 million in new money for the institute in fiscal year 2018.

“I feel certain there will be a substantial increase in the RPG pool. I think likely the increase will be the largest since 2002,” Sharpless said to NCI staff. “I suspect that most of the increase will be to non-competing awards, so that we can fully fund those at 100 percent.

“[NCI Deputy Director] Doug Lowy started doing that a few years ago, and it’s actually something I really believe in. I think that these 3, 2 percent cuts in the grants every year—that was maddening when I was an extramural scientist. It really affects your ability to prosecute good science. I’m glad we’ve been able to stop doing that.”

NCI’s current RPG pool is funded at about $2 billion, which is over a third of the institute’s $5.6 billion budget. The success rates for unsolicited R01 awards have been slowly … Continue reading Sharpless: Expect a big boost to NCI’s RPG pool

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