Press Release

NAEVR Releases Congressional Requests for FY2022 Funding For NIH/NEI, DOD Vision Research Program

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funding requests for National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding, as well as that for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Vision Research Program (VRP). On February 19, NAEVR will host a virtual Advocacy Day for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in which the participants will use this messaging.      

FY2022 NIH/NEI Funding Requests:
NIH––at least a $3.2 Billion or 7.4% increase over FY2021 to $46.1 Billion
NEI––at least a $64.3 Million or 7.7% increase over FY2021 to $900 Million

  • The vision community thanks Congress for the $12.85 billion and $160 million respective NIH and NEI total funding increase in the FY2016-2021 timeframe that has helped to regain ground lost after years of flat budgets and to build upon past discoveries.

  • NAEVR’s request for FY2022 NIH funding of at least $46.1 billion, or a 7.4 percent increase, reflects biomedical inflation of 2.4 percent plus 5 percent growth. This allows for meaningful growth above inflation in the base budget to support promising science across all Institutes and Centers, as well as to support the next generation of scientists.

  • NAEVR asks Congress to ensure a funding allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee that allows for necessary investment in the NIH.

  • NAEVR also urges Congress to provide emergency supplemental funding to support COVID-19 related expenses associated with both pandemic- and non-pandemic research—the latter to address the disruption/delay caused by laboratory closures.

  • NAEVR requests NEI funding of at least $900 million for NEI, a $64.3 million or 7.7 percent increase over FY2021. Despite recent increases, NEI’s FY2021 enacted funding of $835.7 million is just 19 percent greater than the pre-sequester FY2012 funding of $702 million. Averaged over those nine fiscal years, the 2.1 percent annual growth rate is still less than the average annual biomedical inflation rate of 2.7 percent, thereby eroding purchasing power. In fact, NEI’s FY2021 purchasing power is less than that in FY2012.

FY2022 DOD/VRP Request: $30 Million, an increase of $10 Million over FY2021

In making its request for a $10 million increase over FY2021 to $30 million, NAEVR cites a May/June 2019 Military Medicine journal article based on AEVR’s 2018 Cost of Military Eye Injury study that estimates the cost to the economy from combat-related eye injuries in the 2000-2017 timeframe at $41.5 billion, with $40.2 billion of that reflecting present value of a lifetime of benefits, lost wages, and family care.    

VRP funding supports research into DOD-identified gaps in knowledge about traumatic eye injury research, including penetrating eye injuries, corneal and retinal injury and protection, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related visual disorders. NAEVR is requesting an increase since the DOD can only fund a fraction of the grants with both scientific merit and program relevance.           

Since the VRP was created by Congress in FY2009 appropriations as a result of NAEVR advocacy and through FY2019, the DOD has awarded 118 grants totaling $116 million that address its research gaps.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.