Does Your Institution Matter?


In one of my recent posts, I looked at the question of whether the degree you hold makes a difference in your likelihood of achieving funding. You can click the link above, but the answer was, “not really.” For example, in 2011, investigators with a PhD had a slightly lower funding rate (24%) compared to those with an MD (26%) or an MD/PhD (27%), and this pattern is relatively constant when we look back at the past decade.

I promised last time that I would look at the breakdown by institution type.

RPG funding rates 1998-2011 for higher ed institutions

RPG funding rates 1998-2011 for hospitals

RPG funding rate 1998-2011 for medical schools

RPG funding rates 1988-2011 for research institutes

Interestingly, within a given type of institution, there are not significant, sustained differences between the groups, excluding, perhaps, independent hospitals. Medical schools, which as a group receive the greatest percentage of NIH funding, support investigators that are essentially indistinguishable when you look at their funding rates.


  1. Can you comment on the success rate for grant applicants who have a B.S. degree as a terminal degree. Thank you.

  2. The fact that there is no difference seems to indicate fairness. However, keep in mind that equal rates does not equate to fairness. MD-PhD programs are quite competitive and it would not be surprising if some selection occurred with higher rates of funding for MD-PhDs.

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