Welcome the New RePORT and RePORTER Tools!

Ten years ago, NIH launched the RePORT (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools) website to serve as a one-stop shop for reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities. Well, drum roll please, a new and modernized RePORT site as well as a faster and easier to use NIH RePORTER have now arrived. The updated RePORT site strives to meet the needs of today’s users based on feedback received over the years. It is easier, simpler, and quicker to access the same information you have come to rely upon. Continue reading

Institute and Center Award Rates and Funding Disparities

In 2011, Ginther et al. first demonstrated that African American and Black applicants to the National Institutes of Health received grant awards at a lower rate than their white counterparts (Ginther 2011). Since then, multiple studies have reproduced and extended this finding (Ginther 2011; Ginther 2016; Hoppe 2019; Erosheva 2020). Recently we reported that African American and Black (AAB) PIs are more likely to propose research on topics that are less likely to be funded (Hoppe 2019). We found that topic choice has little or no effect on whether an application is chosen for discussion, but after considering a number of confounders, it accounts for over 20% of the gap in funding success for applications that are discussed. Continue reading

An Early Look at Applications Submitted During the Pandemic

It has been four months since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered laboratories and clinical studies across the country and the world. On April 10, only a few weeks into the pandemic, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report describing the consequences of social distancing and other pandemic mitigation measures. These consequences included laboratory closures, de-prioritized projects, cancellation of meetings and conferences, loss of revenue, disrupted personnel processes, supply-chain interruptions, and, overlying all of these, a great deal of uncertainty. Since the CRS report was issued, we have learned more about the pandemic’s effects on non-COVID research and on the research workforce. Continue reading

Extramural Investments in Research: FY 2019 By the Numbers

In times of stress and uncertainty, such as what we are all experiencing now, seeing something different may be welcome. With that in mind, we are taking a few moments to continue our annual tradition spotlighting NIH’s research investments, grant funding, and success rates from the previous fiscal year (FY). Continue reading

Delving Further into the Funding Gap Between White and Black Researchers

In a paper recently published in Science Advances, we delved into the underlying factors associated with the funding gap between white and black researchers. We identified three decision points where disparate outcomes arose between white and black researchers: 1) the decision to bring applications to discussion during peer review study section meetings; 2) impact score assignments for those applications brought to discussion; and (3) a previously unstudied factor, topic choice – that is what topic the investigators chose to study. Continue reading

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

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

What Contributes to the Success of Early Career Scientists? – A NIAID Look

At NIH, we are heavily invested in our workforce and in understanding the barriers they face. What characteristics do they share? How do they compete in the current hypercompetitive environment? When do they stop applying to NIH (drop out), even after receiving their first award? Staff from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) delve into these questions in a paper published recently in PLOS ONE , whose findings I’d like to highlight today. Here, Drs. Patricia Haggerty and Matthew Fenton looked at factors that may contribute to the success of early-career investigators and if these factors affect all junior researchers equally. Continue reading

Funding Longevity by Gender Among NIH-Supported Investigators

For nearly 10 years, more women than men received PhDs in the biomedical sciences, yet women are still underrepresented at every subsequent stage of academic advancement. In 2015, for example, women earned 53% of PhDs, but they comprised only 48% of post-doctoral fellows, 44% of assistant professors, and 35% of professors. To better understand what might be contributing to women’s underrepresentation in later stages of academia, Dr. Lisa Hechtman and her colleagues at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) analyzed “funding longevity by gender” among funded NIH investigators. Their analysis, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, yielded a number of interesting findings which I’d like to share with you.
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How Many Researchers, Revisited: A Look at Cumulative Investigator Funding Rates

In May 2016, we posted a blog on “How Many Researchers” NIH supports. We cited the findings of a University of Wisconsin workshop, which concluded that the biomedical research enterprise suffers from two core problems: too many scientists vying for too few dollars and too many post-docs seeking too few faculty positions. We also noted that NIH leadership and others were increasingly interested in describing the agency’s portfolio not only in terms of the numbers of awards and dollars (as we do each year in our “By the Numbers” reports), but also in terms of the numbers of researchers those awards support. Today we show updated figures on how many researchers are vying for NIH support and how many are successful. Continue reading