Because a higher number of grants than normal are expiring in FY13, the NationalInstitutes of Health expects to be able to fund 8% more new grants and competitive renewals, even with a flat budget, according to the Nature News Blog. The downside of that number, however, is that NIH will likely fund fewer total grants than in FY12, a projected 34,252, or about 100 fewer than in FY11.
The rate at which grants are funded-which hit a historic low of 18% in FY11-is expected to increase slightly to 19%.
NIH has also taken other steps to provide new grants, including cutting 1% from FY12 levels for existing grants. NIH Director Francis Collins,MD, PhD, said those measures are not taken lightly, but he said he felt that current grantees were "willing to absorb that change."