As work continues on 12 different appropriations bills to fund government operations, initial higher education community advocacy efforts appear to have paid off. Budget writers released their version of an FY18 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) funding bill that expressly protects the reimbursement of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs connected to National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants; they do not support the Trump administration’s proposed 10 percent cap.
In report language that reinforces the legislation, the committee stated that “the Administration’s proposal to drastically reduce and cap reimbursement of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs to research institutions is misguided and would have a devastating impact on biomedical research across the country. To ensure that NIH can continue supporting both direct and F&A costs as is their current practice, the bill includes a new general provision directing NIH to continue reimbursing institutions for F&A costs according to the [existing] rules.” Additional language in the bill also prohibits other funds in the legislation from being used to implement any additional caps on F&A reimbursements.
This represents a victory for NACUBO and other associations, organizations, and institutions that have actively worked to educate members of Congress and the administration on the importance of F&A reimbursements to innovative and life-saving research being done at campuses across the country.
The bill still needs to be reconciled with Senate appropriation efforts and passed by both chambers of Congress. NACUBO will continue working with other organizations to try to ensure that this language remains in the bill through final passage.