President’s Fiscal 2019 NIH Budget


On February 12, the Trump Administration released its recommendations for the Fiscal 2019 Budget for the National Institutes of Health.  Here are the highlights of the Budget Request:


  • Total Fiscal 2019 Program level for NIH is $34.767 billion, which according to the President’s budget documents, represents a $699 million over NIH’s Fiscal 2017 program level of $34.229 billion.
    • This total includes $711 million in resources made available through the 21st Century Cures Act and $180 million in mandatory resources.
  • The President’s budget includes an additional $750 million for NIH to spend on research to combat the opioid epidemic and serious mental illness.   With the addition of the opioid-specific funding, NIH’s Fiscal 2019 budget increases to $35.517 billion, which represents a $1.449 billion increase over NIH’s Fiscal 2017 Total Program Level.
    • Note, that the Fiscal 2018 NIH funding bills have not been completed, and the 2018 level will likely be incorporated into a Fiscal 2018 Omnibus which should be completed by March 23, the day when the current Continuing Resolution expires.   The House LHHS bill includes a $1.1 billion increase for NIH, bringing its total to $35.184 billion.  The Senate LHHS bill recommends a $2 billion increase for NIH, which would raise its total to $36.084 billion.
  • The President’s Budget recommends $5.626 billion for the National Cancer Institute, which would be a $24 million reduction from NCI’s Fiscal 2017 level.
    • By way of comparison, the Senate in its Fiscal 2017 bill provided $5.858 billion for NCI.
  • For the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the President recommends $1.137 billion in its Fiscal 2019 budget, which is a $54 million increase over the Institute’s Fiscal 2017 level.
    • In its Fiscal 2017 bill, the Senate recommended $1.113 billion for NIDA.
  • As part of its overall budget, the President proposes incorporating three new agencies into the NIH’s budget—
    • National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality (formerly Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) at a funding level of $380 million.
    • National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety at a funding level of $200 million.   NIOSH is currently located within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    • National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research at $95 million.  NIDR is currently located at the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living.
  • Salary Support.  The President’s Budget proposes to reduce the salary cap for NIH-funded researchers from Executive Level II ($189,600 in 2018)) to Executive Level V ($153,800 in 2018).  The President’s budget would also cap the percentage of investigator salary that can be paid with grant funds to 90 percent of total salary.
  • NIH Support for Facilities and Administrative Expenses.  HHS in its 2019 Budget-In-Brief acknowledges that Congress prohibited NIH from implementing the Administration’s proposal to cap F&A expenses in its Fiscal 2018 Budget Proposal, and further acknowledges that Congress “prohibited any further study or exploration of indirect cost rate reforms at NIH.”


You can find additional budget materials on the White House and HHS websites:


White House:




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