I have seen the very recent report and follow-on discussions that NIH is considering asking institutions to limit grant applications as a way to control demand. Let me present the facts. You may remember the dialogue we had back in October 2011 on how NIH should manage science in fiscally challenging times. The option of limiting applications was raised at that time but was discarded at the outset and we are not pursuing it now. ….
Last August, I wrote on the number of investigators applying for NIH grants. Several readers correctly noted that the increase we showed in the number of applicants was based on the number of investigators submitting at least one application in a given year (rather than, say, all investigators “in the system”). ….
In August I presented data regarding the well-known increase in applications to NIH over the past decade. In “More Applications, Many More Applicants” we looked at the source of increase in competing applications, and presented data on the numbers of unique NIH applicants per year. ….