Skip to Main Content

Few federal agencies have enjoyed a more sterling reputation on Capitol Hill over the past several decades than the National Institutes of Health. But a bevy of challenges are spurring calls for reform on Capitol Hill that may be difficult for the agency to fend off without making some concessions.

The reputation of the NIH, coupled with excitement about the agency’s role in advancing discoveries to improve health, made possible a doubling of the agency’s budget that concluded 20 years ago. Many members of Congress remained sympathetic to the agency’s challenges during the ensuing period of flat or declining budgets, particularly Republicans, who are typically less supportive of non-defense or security domestic spending.


Over the past decade, the agency’s standing — and its cadre of well-positioned congressional backers — resulted in multiple years of sizable growth, helping recoup ground lost following the doubling bust.

STAT+ Exclusive Story


This article is exclusive to STAT+ subscribers

Unlock this article — plus in-depth analysis, newsletters, premium events, and networking platform access.

Already have an account? Log in

Already have an account? Log in



Totals $468 per year

$39/month Get Started

Totals $468 per year



for 3 months, then $39/month

$30 for 3 months Get Started

Then $39/month



Save 15%

$399/year Get Started

Save 15%

11+ Users


Savings start at 25%!

Request A Quote Request A Quote

Savings start at 25%!

2-10 Users


Annually per user

$300/year Get Started

$300 Annually per user

View All Plans

Get unlimited access to award-winning journalism and exclusive events.


STAT encourages you to share your voice. We welcome your commentary, criticism, and expertise on our subscriber-only platform, STAT+ Connect

To submit a correction request, please visit our Contact Us page.