In carrying out the purposes of section 241 of this title with respect to human diseases or disorders or other aspects of human health for which the national research institutes were established, the Secretary, acting through the Director of each national research institute—
shall encourage and support research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, and studies in the health sciences related to—
(i) the maintenance of health,
(ii) the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human diseases and disorders,
(iii) the rehabilitation of individuals with human diseases, disorders, and disabilities, and
(iv) the expansion of knowledge of the processes underlying human diseases, disorders, and disabilities, the processes underlying the normal and pathological functioning of the body and its organ systems, and the processes underlying the interactions between the human organism and the environment;
(B) may, subject to the peer review prescribed under section 289a(b) of this title and any advisory council review under section 284a(a)(3)(A)(i) of this title, conduct the research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, and studies referred to in subparagraph (A);
(C) shall, as appropriate, conduct and support research that has the potential to transform the scientific field, has inherently higher risk, and that seeks to address major current challenges;
(D) may conduct and support research training (i) for which fellowship support is not provided under section 288 of this title, and (ii) which is not residency training of physicians or other health professionals;
(E) may develop, implement, and support demonstrations and programs for the application of the results of the activities of the institute to clinical practice and disease prevention activities;
(F) may develop, conduct, and support public and professional education and information programs;
(G) may secure, develop and maintain, distribute, and support the development and maintenance of resources needed for research;
(H) may make available the facilities of the institute to appropriate entities and individuals engaged in research activities and cooperate with and assist Federal and State agencies charged with protecting the public health;
(I) may accept unconditional gifts made to the institute for its activities, and, in the case of gifts of a value in excess of $50,000, establish suitable memorials to the donor;
(J) may secure for the institute consultation services and advice of persons from the United States or abroad;
(K) may use, with their consent, the services, equipment, personnel, information, and facilities of other Federal, State, or local public agencies, with or without reimbursement therefor;
(L) may accept voluntary and uncompensated services; and
(M) may perform such other functions as the Secretary determines are needed to carry out effectively the purposes of the institute.
The indemnification provisions of section 2354 of title 10 shall apply with respect to contracts entered into under this subsection and section 282(b) of this title.
Support for an activity or program under this subsection may be provided through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The Secretary, acting through the Director of each national research institute—
(A) may enter into a contract for research, training, or demonstrations only if the contract has been recommended after technical and scientific peer review required by regulations under section 289a of this title;
may make grants and cooperative agreements under paragraph (1) for research, training, or demonstrations, except that—
(i) if the direct cost of the grant or cooperative agreement to be made does not exceed $50,000, such grant or cooperative agreement may be made only if such grant or cooperative agreement has been recommended after technical and scientific peer review required by regulations under section 289a of this title, and
(ii) if the direct cost of the grant or cooperative agreement to be made exceeds $50,000, such grant or cooperative agreement may be made only if such grant or cooperative agreement has been recommended after technical and scientific peer review required by regulations under section 289a of this title and is recommended under section 284a(a)(3)(A)(ii) of this title by the advisory council for the national research institute involved; and
(C) shall, subject to section 300cc–40c(d)(2) of this title, receive from the President and the Office of Management and Budget directly all funds appropriated by the Congress for obligation and expenditure by the Institute.
Before an award is made by a national research institute or by a national center for a grant for a research program or project (commonly referred to as an “R-series grant”), other than an award constituting a noncompetitive renewal of such a grant, or a noncompetitive administrative supplement to such a grant, the Director of such national research institute or national center shall, consistent with the peer review process—
(A) review and make the final decision with respect to making the award; and
take into consideration, as appropriate—
(i) the mission of the national research institute or national center and the scientific priorities identified in the strategic plan under section 282(m) of this title;
(ii) programs or projects funded by other agencies on similar research topics; and
(iii) advice by staff and the advisory council or board of such national research institute or national center.