Department of Defense
United States Army Medical Research and Development Command
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

Released: February 3, 2022

GAO Report Finds the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Manages Biomedical Research Funds Efficiently and Avoids Duplication

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week issued Observations on DOD’s Management of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, a report that favorably assessed CDMRP’s handling of federal funds and included “entirely positive” findings, listing no deficiencies. CDMRP receives annual appropriations from Congress to fund medical research in targeted areas and currently manages 36 research programs with a fiscal year 2021 budget of $1.5 billion.

The GAO’s report identified three objectives, examining CDMRP’s

  • Execution of annual appropriations
  • Efforts to prioritize and assess biomedical research programs and investments
  • Coordination of biomedical research with NIH and VA.

To achieve its objectives GAO analyzed budget data from CDMRP’s programs for fiscal years 2015 through 2019. The reviewers found that the Department of Defense (DOD) obligated nearly 100% of its CDMRP appropriations leaving only 1.3 percent unobligated. Amounts deobligated after funds expire are due to withdrawn or terminated awards or remaining award funds decremented upon award closure.

The report also acknowledged that CDMRP prioritizes and assesses biomedical research investments through effective program and project management. CDMRP establishes mid- to long- term priorities by developing strategic plans and sets short term priorities through annual vision setting. CDMRP’s program cycle and awards management processes also help maximize research outcomes and ensure that investments are aligned with specific program goals and visions. See CDMRP’s program cycle process here.

The GAO noted that the CDMRP coordinates with NIH and VA for research program planning and project selection and leverages shared data to identify potential overlap. CDMRP uses programmatic panels, portfolio review and analysis meetings, and interagency committees/partnerships to actively coordinate and synergize biomedical funding. The report noted CDMRP has developed robust data sharing capabilities with NIH and VA for research applications.

In addition to a positive review of CDMRP processes, the GAO staff also commended the CDMRP website for its transparency, including the quality and the amount of information provided on programs and funding.

Regarding these findings and report, CDMRP Director COL Sarah Goldman states, “We are very pleased with the GAO’s findings which confirm that we are on the right track as good stewards of these important medical research programs. CDMRP remains dedicated to funding innovative research that will positively impact the lives of Service Members, their families, Veterans and the public. Seeing how CDMRP research improves the quality of life to so many patients and families across the country is incredibly rewarding.”

For more information on the GAO report visit:

Read the full GAO report here.

For more information about the CDMRP, our research programs, and research highlights please visit the website at

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs

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Last updated Thursday, February 3, 2022