I just noticed I never posted here information about the NIH Reauthorization Bill that received Congressional approval last December and was signed by the President on Jan 15. The Bill adds a Scientific Management Review Board to review the structure of NIH every 7 years … but the most significant change is the shift in the balance of power, most of which has rested with the 27 separate institutes and centers inside the NIH. The bill authorizes the NIH Director (ie, The Great Zerhouni) to set aside a “common fund” eventually comprising 5% of the NIH’s total budget. This fund will award grants for high-impact trans-institute demonstration projects, including those coming out of the physical, chemical, mathematical, and computational sciences. Currently, the Roadmap and other trans-NIH programs account for about 1% of the NIH budget. A jump to 5% would translate to $1.5 billion a year at today’s levels.