How Many Researchers? …Revisited…the FY 2018 NIH’s Cumulative Investigator Rate

In March 2018, we showed data suggesting that, despite still being in a state of hyper-competition (as described in this post), the severity may be lessening. The number of unique applicants for NIH research project grants (RPGs) appeared to stabilize after many years of uninterrupted growth. Furthermore, a person-based metric, called the cumulative investigator rate, started to rise in fiscal year (FY) 2015 for RPGs after declines in previous years. Continue reading

Association Between Receiving an Individual Mentored Career Development (K) Award and Subsequent Research Support

NIH’s career development K awards intend to help early career scientists become independent. These awards afford the recipient protected time for research, publishing, and generating new ideas. As part of ongoing efforts to take a data driven approach to managing NIH programs, my colleagues within the NIH Division of Biomedical Research Workforce (DBRW) in the Office of Extramural Research sought to determine whether K awards might be achieving this goal, and published their findings in Academic Medicine last December. Continue reading

CMS Seeks Input on Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule and RFIs

Medicare and Medicaid claims data are a uniquely valuable, rich source of health information available to the NIH research community for observational and interventional research. On February 11, 2019, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule to advance interoperability and patient access to health information. In addition, CMS released two RFIs to obtain feedback on 1.) interoperability and health IT adoption in post-acute care settings, and 2.) the role of patient matching in interoperability and improved patient care. Continue reading

NIH IRL: Join Us at the NIH Regional Seminar

I recently mentioned how much I enjoy starting a conversation through the blog with you, the investigators, grants administrators, research staff, and others in the research community. At the NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration, I hold “Open Mike” sessions where I have no slides and no prepared remarks – I let the audience determine the topics we discuss. I love the opportunity for frank conversations about whatever is on your mind. While I meet with people in the grants community at many different events, the NIH Regional Seminar is one of my favorites because of the opportunity to hear in a common setting of the perspectives and challenges of investigators and research administrators. Continue reading

Seeking Input on the Need to Enhance Access to NIH Grants Data

NIH has long been committed to transparency into who and what we fund. We have previously discussed the value of freely-available web tools that allow you to gain insight into NIH funding decisions. Award data available via RePORT and RePORTER, for instance, include non-sensitive information such as awardee institution, principal investigator, funding levels, research abstracts, as well as associated publications, patents, and other project outcomes. The data available through RePORT are quite powerful in their own right. However, compelling arguments exist for why researchers outside NIH should have access to even more information associated with the grants process. Continue reading

Year in Reflection 2018

As we look back at 2018 – or for that matter any year – it seems reasonable to ask questions like “Irrespective of the outcomes, did we make the right decisions?” Given the choices we had, did we go about making our choices in a skillful way? And we can dig deeper – did we take steps to minimize uncertainty? … to mitigate the impact of bad outcomes? … to seek a diversity of opinions? … to make our decisions as data-driven as possible? … Continue reading

Curling up with a New NIH Data Book

For the New Year, we resolve to make NIH data, reports, and analyses more accessible, interactive, and easy to use. For over a decade, the NIH Data Book has served as a helpful resource for describing funding trends on grants and contract awards, success rates, small business programs, peer review, as well as the scientific workforce. These data, presented as graphics and tables, have allowed you to get a better understanding of decisions made here at NIH. We are proud to announce a new edition is available for your 2019 reading list. Continue reading