How Many Researchers Were Supported by NIH as Trainees?

Earlier this year we reported on the unique numbers of research project grant (RPG) awardees and applicants each year since the end of the NIH doubling, in 2003. We described how the number of unique RPG awardees has remained relatively constant, while the number of applicants (as assessed over 5-year windows) has steadily and markedly increased.
A number of readers asked us about the prior NIH-supported research training and career development of these investigators. Among RPG awardees, what proportion had received prior fellowship, training, or career development (F, T, or K) awards? And perhaps of greater interest, among unsuccessful, unfunded applicants, what proportion had received prior fellowship, training or career awards?
To answer these questions, we start with a quick recap. …. Continue reading

Updates on Addressing Rigor in Your NIH Applications

As NIH moves ahead with implementing measures to enhance rigor, transparency and reproducibility in NIH-supported research, I’d like to give a brief update on these efforts, and highlight some important timeline changes for implementation in applications for institutional training grants (T), institutional career development awards (K12), and individual fellowships (F). …. Continue reading

Better Research Trainee Data through Streamlined Reporting Processes

Training of the next generation of biomedical scientists is a core responsibility of NIH and its partner grantee institutions.The NIH Advisory Council to the Director‘s Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group recommended that NIH should “develop a simple and comprehensive tracking system for trainees” as part of the broader challenge of gathering better biomedical workforce data. Unambiguous identification of NIH trainees was an absolutely critical first step in establishing the ability to examine contributing factors that lead to various post-training careers. Accordingly we started collecting information in this way by requiring that all post-doctorates and all graduate and undergraduate students listed in a grantee’s progress report have an eRA Commons ID (as of 2009 and 2013, respectively). The next important step is developing a system to automate the capture of trainee data that has long been provided by extramural institutions in their training grant applications. …. Continue reading

Training Experiences at NIH

Remember that our report on the Biomedical Research Workforce indicated that about 6% of US-trained biomedical PhDs end up in government research? Well, most of those talented individuals are here at NIH conducting research across the full gamut of disciplines. But did you know that NIH also is a dynamic training environment for the next generation of biomedical researchers? …. Continue reading