The salary cap for National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researchers working outside the agency was slashed by $20,000 by the new federal budget approved by Congress and President Obama last month. The cap, which limits the direct salary that a researcher may receive under an NIH grant, will now be $179,700—leaving universities to make up the thousand of dollars in difference to cover faculty salaries.
However, there may be some leeway in how cuts are applied that will alleviate the burden on universities, The Chronicle reports. For example, universities hope the new cap may only apply to new grants.
NIH officials are also considering options to mitigate the effects on the universities. "NIH is in the process of determining the implementation of the 2012 appropriation provision and will be sending out guidance shortly to the community," Sally J. Rockey, the NIH's deputy director for extramural research, told The Chronicle.