Scripps Research Institute settles allegations of improper NIH charges for $10M

The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego agreed to pay the federal government $10 million to settle allegations that it improperly used National Institutes of Health grant funds.

The Department of Justice said Sept. 11 that Scripps Research Institute charged the NIH-funded grants for time researchers didn't spend on grant-related work. Specifically, the Justice Department accused the biomedical research institute of failing to have a system in place that properly accounted for the time faculty spent on activities outside of what can be charged to NIH-funded projects from 2008 to 2016. These activities include developing, preparing and writing new grant applications, and teaching, committee work and other administrative tasks.

The allegations were initially brought forward in a lawsuit filed by former Scripps Research Institute employee Thomas Burris, PhD, under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. Dr. Burris will share in $1.8 million of the settlement. 

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