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Extending Life, Enhancing Life: A National Research Agenda on Aging
Funding of approved RPGs on aging: funding level—one in two
$36.5 million × 2 = $73 million (384 RPGs)
$36.5 million additional funding (192 added RPGs)
$55.8 million × 2 = $111.6 million (588 RPGs)
$55.8 million additional funding (294 added RPGs)
$92.3 million additional funding (486 added RPGs)
These figures are estimates and may require revision as the new agenda on research is implemented. Because a significant percentage of RPG proposals represents resubmissions that were previously approved but not funded, the new funding rate for approved grants may have variable effects on the eventual number of approved grants that are reviewed for funding. Increasing the funding of approved research grants on aging should reduce the number of resubmissions that are reviewed for funding, but this trend will be offset if more investigators are encouraged by the new funding rate to resubmit grant proposals that were approved but not funded in the past. Therefore, the committee recommends that the target for funding of approved RPGs be set at one in two, subject to review and modification as the new program to expand research on aging is implemented.
Funds for age-related research sponsored by the NIA and other institutes most often support biomedical research proposals, although some funds also support research on aging in health services delivery and in social and behavioral studies. As Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 emphasize, these areas have been chronically underfunded for many years. For example, an estimated fewer than 20 percent of approved research proposals on aging in behavioral and social research are funded each year (Behavioral and Social Program, NIA).
The committee recommends that most of the funds for the behavioral and social research and health services delivery research should come from agencies that have traditionally sustained this work (e.g., Health Care Financing Administration; Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration; and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research), and that the new funds should total at least $80 million per year in current dollars.
The 1991 NIA appropriation funds 381 RPGs (Budget Office, NIA). This new support is in concert with the committee's recommendation for increased funding of RPGs on aging, and should be extended to RPGs on aging throughout the NIH. There is information that other federal institutions may also increase their support for age-related research in the coming fiscal year.
Funding for an additional five cooperative studies on prevention, demography, epidemiology and treatment of age-related disorders is