NIAID Sets Final FY2019 K Award Paylines
The National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has set final K award paylines for fiscal year (FY) 2019 at a 20 overall impact score. These career development awards are critical to entering the extramural NIH biomedical research pipeline and have been decreasing as costs rise over the past several years.
Following the October 2018 announcement of an initial interim K payline of 14, IDSA urged NIAID to increase existing award levels and consider implementing additional mechanisms to improve the funding landscape for early career researchers. NIAID was receptive to Society concerns, raising the interim payline to 18. Society leaders then met with NIAID Director Tony Fauci, MD, FIDSA and Institute leadership in December to review the NIAID research portfolio and discuss proposals and partnerships to strengthen the ID physician-scientist pipeline, including creating and participating in an external stakeholder advisory group.
Dr. Fauci and NIAID Principal Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss, MD, attended the March IDSA Board of Directors meeting to share agency updates and discuss additional opportunities for engagement. IDSA recommended convening a half-day workforce and research training workshop to support continued momentum toward addressing these critical issues, which NIAID has since agreed to organize.
While the final 2019 K award payline is two points higher than the previous interim score of 18 – an increase due, in large part, to IDSA advocacy over the past year – an impact score of 20 will essentially continue to limit funding success for all but the most perfect applications. IDSA will continue to urge NIAID and Congress to optimize the career pipeline and improve the funding landscape for the next generation of infectious diseases physician-scientists.