NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
July 5, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 27 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Director's Update

An Important Message from NCI

For more information on NCI's budget, visit the following Web sites:
NCI Fact Book

NCI Bypass Budget

NCI Financial Management Branch

NCI Office of Grants Administration

NIH Grant Application Deadlines

Today's issue begins with a slightly revised format because I felt the topic of this Director's Update - the basic facts behind NCI's budget - warranted extended discussion.

We are entering one of the most difficult times in the history of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This was the sentiment of NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) at their meeting on June 28. Federal deficits resulting from the events following 9/11 have contributed to unanticipated fiscal pressures that have placed a significant stress on resources assigned to support the country's biomedical research enterprise. The single biggest challenge - and the foremost driver of uncertainty for the biomedical research community - is the annual discretionary budget appropriation supporting NIH and, specifically, NCI. It is a topic of discussion at scientific meetings, in the editorial pages of peer-reviewed journals, and among researchers and administrators at academic centers across the country.

To better inform these ongoing discussions, the entire research community must clearly understand the process NCI uses to make strategic decisions regarding optimal investments in science with a goal of maintaining the momentum brought about by the doubling of the NIH budget. It is important to describe some of the basic factors that influence the budget, as well as the processes and procedures we have instituted to manage our resources.

What Happens to NCI's Appropriation once Congress Passes the Budget?

It has been unusual in recent years for Congress to reach a vote on the discretionary budget before the September 30 fiscal year (FY) deadline. As a result, NCI often begins the year spending at a rate based on the prior year's budget during a "continuing resolution." This has an impact on grantees, as resources are held back and only a percentage of the grant is paid until more clear information is obtained about the actual appropriation. Our grants management and budget staff work diligently during this period to serve both NCI and the institute's grantees.  Read more  

The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

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