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What is the Hearing Loss Program

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Funding and Personnel

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Funding and Personnel

The HLR program funding ranged from $1.5 to 2.5 million each year during the 1990s. As shown in Table 2.1,[1] the program was funded at approximately $6 million in fiscal year 2005, with about $4 million in intramural funding and almost $2 million in extramural funding. The intramural component has consistently been the larger portion of the program.

Funding and Personnel Table










Table 2.1.  NIOSH HLR Program Funding by Fiscal Year, 1997-2005

Intramural funding of the program increased from prior years in fiscal year 1997 with the addition of PRL projects. Over the last decade, the intramural program has grown in terms of staff as well as funding. The growth in program resources resulted primarily from two factors.  Engineering control work, particularly in the mining sector, has increased due to both external factors and program management decisions. Congressional funding earmarked for mining research has provided funds to specifically support research efforts in that sector. The MSHA noise regulation published in 1999[15] created new opportunities for partnerships and research in mining, and NIOSH management responded by reassigning researchers to increase the resources directed at the NIHL issue in mining.  The second factor which led to increased resources was special intramural NORA program funding provided in 2001 as a five-year commitment to address gaps in hearing loss prevention research.

Approximately 30 full-time equivalent positions are currently involved in the intramural research effort. This team includes 14 engineers, 5 audiologists, 4 psychologists, and single representatives of other professional disciplines, including physics, industrial hygiene, geology, nursing, sociology, computer science, and scientific communication.  This research staff is distributed among two research teams of approximately equal size, one in Cincinnati and one in Pittsburgh.


[1] The table only reports the past 9 years of funding data, excluding  FY1996.  Due to the addition of PRL resources to the HLR program in FY1997, the resources for FY1996 would be inconsistent with the rest of the table in terms of what components of the program were included.

[15] MSHA [1999]. Dept. of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration 30 CFR part 62 Section 130 Permissible Exposure Level (September 13, 1999).


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