A new federal fiscal year (FY) begins October 1, but lawmakers at deadline haven’t even agreed on stopgap funding needed to keep Washington fully functioning next month, let alone come to terms on a new budget for FY 2021.

As a result, nobody yet knows how much funding the NIH will have net fiscal year. President Donald Trump began the budget process in February, weeks before COVID-19 led to shutdowns nationwide, by proposing a record $4.9 trillion spending plan that would have cut the NIH’s budget by 7%, from $41.7 billion to $38.4 billion.

Fauci, Collins, Trump at the NIH
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, and President Donald Trump at the National Institute of Health.

After those shutdowns, Congress approved a combined $3.6 billion in “emergency” funding for the NIH in four stimulus bills passed between March and April, and signed into law by Trump.

On July 31, the Democratic-majority U.S. House of Representatives passed largely along party lines (217–197) a spending plan for NIH, its parent agency the Department of Health and Human Services, and nine other federal departments. The spending plan followed the recommendation of the House Committee on Appropriations, which approved a 13% or approximately $5.5 billion increase in NIH funding, to just under $47 billion, with every institute and center approved for budget increases of at least 7%.

Among institutes and centers:

  • The National Cancer Institute was approved for $6.9 billion, up just over $1 billion or 7.3% from $6.4 billion this fiscal year. Trump had proposed $5.9 billion an 8.7% reduction.
  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the institute led by Anthony S. Fauci, MD, fared even better, receiving an 8.6% budget boost to about $6.4 billion, up from $5.9 billion in FY 2020. Trump’s proposal would have shrunk NIAID’s budget by 7.5%.
  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute was approved for about $3.9 billion from $3.6 billion in FY 2020, also up 7.3%. Trump’s spending plan called for a 9% reduction.
  • The National Human Genome Research Institute was approved for $650.6 million from $606.3 million, another 7.3% increase. Trump had proposed $550.1 million, a 9.3% cut.

The U.S. Senate’s Committee on Appropriations at deadline had yet to come out with its own budget proposal for the agency, which would be within a spending bill covering the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

As Michael Lauer, MD, NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, wrote on the agency’s website in May, about 75% of the agency’s FY 2019 budget supported extramural research. That fiscal year, NIH issued 55,012 competing and non-competing extramural research awards totaling about $29.466 billion— up $2.354 billion from FY 2018 (an 8.68% increase), with 2,369 more grants funded. NIH extramural dollars supported research conducted at 2,738 organizations—including universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every U.S. state and worldwide.

About 10% of the NIH’s budget supports projects conducted by approximately 1,200 Principal Investigators and more than 4,000 Postdoctoral Fellows in its own laboratories, most of which are on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

Below is a list of 50 universities (including medical schools), research institutions, and teaching hospitals ranked by how much in NIH funding they have received during the current 2020 federal fiscal year, through September. FY 2020 ends on September 30. Also included for each NIH grant recipient is the number of grant awards funded in FY 2020, which was not a factor in the ranking.

Among the 25 states with at least one institution among the top 50 listed here, California leads the nation with seven institutions in each state receiving NIH grant funding. Next-highest are Massachusetts and New York, each with six NIH-funded institutions, followed by North Carolina with four. These four states combined accounted for nearly half (23) of the top 50 NIH-funded institutions in the current 2020 federal fiscal year.

Of the remaining states in the top 50, seven received NIH grants for two institutions each (Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state). Another 13 states have a single NIH-funded institution among the top 50 listed here—most notably the University of Florida, which just missed the top 50 in last year’s GEN A-List.

Some notable institutions ranked 55 through 51 this current fiscal year: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Virginia, Harvard Medical School, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and University of Rochester (NY), just missed the top 50 with $166,132,138 through 370 awards.


Rank Organization Name Funding & Awards
50 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute $168,968,587 through 265 awards
49 The Scripps Research Institute $170,903,082 through 241 awards
48 The University of Iowa $175,249,359 through 399 awards
47 Sloan-Kettering Institute $176,889,703 through 291 awards
46 Case Western Reserve University $177,488,241 through 346 awards
45 Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard $181,853,504 through 93 awards
44 University of Florida $182,500,010 through 443 awards
43 Albert Einstein College of Medicine $185,644,333 through 335 awards
42 Boston Children’s Hospital $192,682,552 through 366 awards
41 FHI 360 (formerly Family Health International) $192,932,746 through 6 awards
40 The University of Maryland, Baltimore $200,332,911 through 409 awards
39 The University of Utah $204,180,928 through 509 awards
38 The University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center $206,405,214 through 471 awards
37 Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) $214,313,650 through 406 awards
36 The Ohio State University $214,958,510 through 491 awards
35 Weill Cornell Medical College $217,849,516 through 446 awards
34 The University of Chicago $220,691,792 through 426 awards
33 University of California, Davis $237,849,512 through 484 awards
32 Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) $261,314,178 through 379 awards
31 University of Colorado Denver $267,091,236 through 692 awards
30 University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School $275,202,636 through 318 awards
29 University of Southern California $282,423,540 through 473 awards
28 Oregon Health & Science University $282,673,537 through 513 awards
27 The University of Alabama at Birmingham $291,827,756 through 582 awards
26 Baylor College of Medicine $301,689,095 through 515 awards
25 New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine $303,925,843 through 516 awards
24 University of Wisconsin-Madison $305,019,304 through 608 awards
23 Brigham and Women’s Hospital $308,419,887 through 579 awards
22 University of Minnesota $316,902,468 through 686 awards
21 Northwestern University at Chicago $333,297,150 through 605 awards
20 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai $350,777,315 through 640 awards
19 RTI International (Research Triangle Institute) $355,059,620 through 84 awards
18 Vanderbilt University Medical Center $357,135,751 through 507 awards
17 Emory University $429,776,965 through 764 awards
16 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $456,919,580 through 919 awards
15 University of California, San Diego $476,884,458 through 1,011 awards
14 Washington University in St. Louis $478,435,137 through 978 awards
13 Columbia University Health Sciences $481,845,918 through 923 awards
12 Duke University $484,735,147 through 847 awards
11 Stanford University $496,363,341 through 995 awards
10 Yale University $512,611,430 through 1,010 awards
9 University of Washington $505,071,973 through 952 awards
8 University of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh $507,399,383 through 1,076 awards
7 Massachusetts General Hospital $511,815,008 through 944 awards
6 University of Pennsylvania $553,442,380 through 1,175 awards
5 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor $579,203,245 through 1,238 awards
4 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center $598,904,570 through 274 awards
3 University of California, Los Angeles $629,215,516 through 835 awards
2 University of California, San Francisco $636,062,320 through 1,306 awards
1 Johns Hopkins University $722,890,586 through 1,339 awards
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