Congress Assails NIH Spending Practices; Report Presses For Reforms, Restraints

A House panel, demanding changes in the way grants are managed, accuses scientists of overstating the crisis in research funding WASHINGTON--In a report that has left National Institutes of Health officials "a little shell-shocked," a House committee has laid out an unprecedentedly specific set of spending guidelines in an effort to fix what it sees as a longstanding problem in the way NIH has handled its rapidly growing budget. In blunt language, the House report says its members are tired o

Jeffrey Mervis
Sep 2, 1990


A House panel, demanding changes in the way grants are managed, accuses scientists of overstating the crisis in research funding
WASHINGTON--In a report that has left National Institutes of Health officials "a little shell-shocked," a House committee has laid out an unprecedentedly specific set of spending guidelines in an effort to fix what it sees as a longstanding problem in the way NIH has handled its rapidly growing budget.

In blunt language, the House report says its members are tired of hearing scientists whine about a lack of money, and they're unwilling to wait any longer for NIH to do something about the way it allocates grant funds and its perceived inattention to costs when evaluating proposals.

Scientists like Oliver Smithies, a professor of pathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are apprehensive about the House initiative. Smithies is the kind of biomedical researcher who exemplifies the...

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