This past September, my colleague and I published a paper in the journal eLife on inequalities in the support of scientists designated as Principal Investigators (PIs) of NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) awards. We found that funding inequality among PIs has increased over the past 25 years, but may have decreased modestly in more recent years. We also found greater levels of inequality across organizations.
In a previous post, we looked at the gender distribution of designated principal investigators (PI’s) of R01 and RPG applications submitted before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we look at NIH R01 and RPG application patterns for January 1 through April 8 over the past 6 years; these applications patterns may well reflect longer-term pandemic effects.
As we continue to explore the question of how many researchers NIH funds, we have been observing a positive trend over the last few years where the number of unique scientists seeking support on NIH research project grants (RPGs) is stabilizing along with a commensurate rise in the corresponding NIH cumulative investigator rate. Now with fiscal year (FY) 2019 data available on the NIH Data Book, let’s see if this trend continued.