FY 2015 Appropriations: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

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Publication date: 
15 December 2014
Number: 
173

Congress has completed the FY 2015 appropriations cycle with House and Senate approval of a $1.1 trillion bill providing funding through September 30, 2015 for all departments and agencies with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security that will be funded through early 2015. 

The bill has not been printed in final report form.  The section on the National Institutes of Health starts on PDF page 42; a funding table is on PDF page 137-139.    Note that language in the previous Senate appropriations report stands unless modified by language in the conference report.  There was no House bill.  See selections of important report language below regarding NIH.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $326.4 million
The FY 2015 request is $328.4 million, an increase of $2.0 million or 0.6 percent
The Senate bill provides $332.7 million, an increase of $6.3 million or 1.9 percent above current funding
The final bill provides $330.2 million, an increase of $3.8 million or 1.2 percent above current funding

Under the bill:

National Institutes of Health:

The FY 2014 appropriation was $29,934.3 million
The FY 2015 request is $30,134.3 million, an increase of $200.0 million or 0.7 percent
The Senate bill provides $30,459.2 million, an increase of $524.9 million or 1.8 percent above current funding
The final bill provides $30,084.0 million, an increase of $149.7 million or 0.5 percent above current funding

There is extensive report language, including the following items of note:

“The agreement expects NIH to promote the advancement of biomedical science in a manner that builds public trust and accountability and expects NIH to conduct rigorous oversight prior to the awarding of funds to ensure that all grants are connected to the core mission and priorities of NIH.

“Recent GAO reports (GA0-14-490R and GA0-14-246) on NIH research allocations highlight that NIH's research allocation process does not significantly take into account any method related to burden of disease on the American public, such as death or prevalence rate. Therefore, the agreement urges NIH to ensure research dollars are invested in areas in which Americans lives may be improved.”

“Basic Biomedical Research.-The agreement urges the NIH Director to continue the traditional focus on basic biomedical research. The purpose of basic research is to discover the nature and mechanics of disease and identify potential therapeutic avenues likely to lead to the prevention and treatment of human disease. Without this early scientific investigation, future development of treatments and cures would be impossible. Basic biomedical research must remain a key component of both the intramural and extramural research portfolio at the NIH.”

“Big Data.-The agreement continues to expect NIH to protect the privacy of individuals who are the subject of research. As the Big Data to Knowledge Initiative (or any similar initiative) creates new methods of collecting data from research, attention must be paid to new ways of protecting the data of individuals involved. NIH is directed to include requirements related to privacy protections in every grant that involves human research, such as the issuance of certificates of confidentiality.”

“Blue Ribbon Commission on Scientific Standing.- The agreement directs the NIH Office of the Director to fund, in consultation with the National Science Foundation and Department of Education, a contract with the National Academy Sciences to establish a Blue Ribbon Commission charged with discerning American public opinion on, understanding of, and acceptance of research. The Commission shall examine the present state of scientific repute in America and present recommendations for how to improve scientific literacy, education, and enhance scientific regard amongst the American public.”

“Improve Data Availability.-The agreement directs that within 90 days after enactment, the NIH Director should submit a report that assures the Committees on Appropriations that all journals supported with NIH resources are consistent with the February 2013 memorandum from the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, which states that data sets used inpublications supported by government grants should be made available to the public where possible. The agreement expects NIH to take immediate actionable steps to ensure all data from NIH supported journals is available and reproducible.”