The NIH is the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world, research that improves human health. Thanks in large part to NIH research, the average life expectancy in the U.S. today is nearly age 79, almost 30 years longer than it was in 1900, and the proportion of older people with chronic disabilities has dropped by nearly 1/3 over the past 25 years.
The NIH is comprised of 27 research-focused institutes and centers, including the NCI, which is the largest single NIH institute. Research at these institutes and centers, called intramural research accounts for approximately 11% of the NIH budget and involves nearly 6,000 researchers and staff, in addition to 5,000 trainees.
More than 80% of the NIH budget is competitively awarded to researchers as extramural research grants, rigorously peer reviewed for relevance and scientific and technical merit.
NIH funding generates scientific discoveries ad fuels new economic activity and employment in the communities that receive its funds. NIH funds support the work of more than 432,000 researchers and research personnel at more than 3,000 universities, medical schools, medical centers, teaching hospitals, small businesses and research institutions in every state.
In 2011, NIH research funding created 432, 094 jobs and generated $62.13 billion in new economic activity across the country.