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NIOSH Respiratory Diseases Research Program

Evidence Package for the National Academies' Review 2006-2007

NIOSH Programs > Respiratory Diseases > Evidence Package > 1. Introduction to NIOSH

1.4 Resources

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The NIOSH budget is a direct appropriation from Congress, as a specific line item in the DHHS/CDC appropriation. The Congressional language which accompanies the funding appropriation often contains specific directives about the intended use of portions of the funds. For example, these “earmarked” directives instruct NIOSH to use specific portions of the funds to conduct research which targets certain industries such as agriculture or construction, or to support research or surveillance initiatives such as the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), Emergency Preparedness, the DOE special exposure cohort study, or the Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (ECWHSP). In addition, NIOSH may be charged by Congress or DHHS to lead or participate in evolving public health activities such as the World Trade Center (WTC) health surveillance efforts; however, funding is not always provided to support these efforts. Prior to fiscal year 2006, the CDC tapped a portion of the NIOSH budget to offset the cost of administrative and infrastructure support provided by the CDC and to fund the NIOSH portion of costs associated with business consolidations established under the President’s Management Agenda. Beginning in 2006, Congress moved the charges associated with business support services from the NIOSH appropriation and appropriated the funding directly to the CDC (approximately $35 million). Escalating personnel costs, combined with projections of diminished appropriations and continuing “earmark” obligations, create significant challenges to NIOSH as it strives to fulfill its mission and optimize its impact on occupational safety and health problems. 

In fiscal year 2006, $255 million was appropriated for NIOSH. Table 2 shows NIOSH funding for the years 1996 through 2006, with adjustments for inflation and application of the biomedical research index (note that funding targeted to the WTC Response discussed in chapter 10 is not reflected in these figures). The reduction between 2005 and 2006 reflects costs to NIOSH of CDC business consolidations. After adjustment of funding for the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI), which adjusts not only for inflation but also for increased costs of conducting scientific investigation due to new technologies, etc., NIOSH has had only a modest increase in funding since 1996. Essentially all of the increase is the result of funding earmarked for NORA priorities.

Table 2: NIOSH Budget, 1996 – 2002

NIOSH Budget, 1996 – 2002

 

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget

(in millions)

 

$161

$173

$184

$204

$226

$260

$276

$273

$277

$286

$255*

Adjusted

(BRDPI)**

 

$161

-

-

-

$199

$221

$227

$217

$212

$211

$182

 

* In 2006, Congress redirected $35M from the NIOSH budget appropriation to CDC for Business Support Services.
** NIH-Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI). Figures shown as millions of 1996 dollars.
- Data not provided to allow calculation of index: http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/UI/GDP_FromGenBudget.htm (External link)



The NIOSH staffing level is approximately 1413 Full-Time Equivalents (FTE). This level has fluctuated over the past decade from a low of 1364 FTE in 1996 to a peak of 1521 FTE in 2003 and then a subsequent steady decline to the current level. The increases leading to the peak in 2003 can be attributed, in part, to NIOSH absorbing the research teams of the former Bureau of Mines and the establishment of a new Health Effects Laboratory Division (HELD) and National Personal Protection Technology Laboratory (NPPTL). A breakdown of NIOSH research staff by professional discipline is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Personnel breakdown by scientific discipline

Figure 2