The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that it will implement a new Grant Support Index (GSI) when assessing research applications. The goal is to assess the effectiveness of NIH research investments and ensure that research funding produces the best results.
GSI assigns a point value to the various kinds of grants based on type, complexity, and size. Applications for NIH-funding that will support researchers who have GSIs over 21 (the equivalent of 3 single-PI R01 awards) will be expected to include a plan in their applications for how they would adjust those researchers’ existing grant load to be within the GSI limits if their application is awarded. While implementation of a GSI limit is estimated to affect only about 6 percent of NIH-funded investigators, it would free up about 1,600 new awards to broaden the pool of investigators conducting NIH research and improve the stability of the enterprise
Over the next few months, NIH will be seeking feedback from the scientific community on how best to implement the GSI limit. Further details about the program, along with opportunities to provide input, will be communicated by NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Dr. Michael Lauer through his Open Mike Blog.