The National Institutes of Health is made up of 27 different components called Institutes and Centers. Each has its own specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. All but three of these components receive their funding directly from Congress, and administrate their own budgets. NIH leadership plays an active role in shaping the agency's research planning, activities, and outlook.

The Office of the Director is the central office, responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components.


Headquarters for the Office of the Director and the Institutes and Centers are located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. NIH has more than 75 buildings in a campus-like environment over 300 acres. Some research is performed on campus in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, although more than 80% of research activities are conducted by scientists working in every state and around the world.

This page last reviewed on November 5, 2015