The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently published a long-expected request for applications (RFA) for the Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs) for ME/CFS, announcing that the funding levels for the centers would remain unchanged for an additional five-year term. While the centers will continue to do their important work, they will not be able to expand.
While there are many contributors to this disappointing announcement, one of the main reasons is that there is no federal budget in place for Fiscal Year 2022. This limits the money the NIH can commit for the following year. Additionally, this delayed the RFA will create a seven-month funding gap for the research centers. These delays have prevented NIH researchers from leveraging existing expertise and infrastructure investments to address Long Covid and post-infection illness.
Because of this, we sent a letter to Senate and House Appropriations committee chairs, calling on them to pass a budget swiftly to prevent other programs from being impacted by budget uncertainty. We also stressed the importance of prioritizing opportunities to address the impact of budget delays during the FY 2023 process.For a more detailed explanation of this complex issue, check out this video summary from Solve M.E. Vice President of Advocacy and Community Engagement Emily Taylor: