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NIH Research Planning

Through 27 Institutes and Centers, each with its own broadly defined mission, NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world.

Each year, Federal funds are obligated by Congress for the pursuit of research objectives. Each Institute determines how to allocate its own funds among many different activities of science.

Setting Research Priorities

Decision-makers at NIH seek advice from many sources when setting research priorities:

The NIH builds its budget by evaluating current opportunities and public health needs while maintaining strong support for investigator-initiated research. The formulation of the NIH budget provides an established framework within which priorities are identified, reviewed, and justified.

A special office was established dedicated to help manage large and complex research portfolios. The Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) identifies important areas of emerging scientific opportunity or rising public health challenges to assist in the acceleration of research investments in these areas.

Scientific "Peer" Review

Investigator-initiated applications for NIH funding are evaluated by peer review groups composed of scientists from outside the NIH. The peer review group evaluates the scientific and technical merit of the proposed research. These evaluations are used by the individual Institutes to determine which projects to fund.

The Office of Extramural Research (OER) manages the development and implementation of policies and procedures that pertain to peer review conducted in all components of the NIH.

Related Links

Experts from the scientific community convene around a conference table to evaluate grant applications

Watch the Video
"Inside the NIH Grant Review Process"
The video shows how outside experts assess grant applications and how review meetings are conducted to ensure fairness.

Research Studies
Search current and past NIH-funded research studies in the CRISP database.

Research Funding
Search for research funding opportunities in the NIH Guide.

Research Advances
Read about key scientific discoveries supported by NIH.

This page was last reviewed on November 6, 2008 .
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