Chronicle: NIH Is Deluged With 21,000 Grant Applications for Stimulus Funds

According to a report in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education:

The National Institutes of Health has received about 21,000 applications for its main category of grants through the federal economic-stimulus measure, both thrilling and overwhelming agency reviewers responsible for evaluating the proposals and distributing the money.

“The response has been extraordinary,” Antonio Scarpa, director of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review, said at an agency conference here on Monday.

The numbers are causing concern for the present, as each application requires an average of three reviewers working 12 hours apiece, Dr. Scarpa told agency representatives. And the numbers are a source of concern for the future, as about 99 percent of applications will be denied, and many of those could be resubmitted later, he said.

“This is not sustainable,” he told the meeting of the NIH’s Peer Review Advisory Committee.

The article is on line for subscribers.

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