Inside Higher Ed: Gap in NIH Funding for Black and White Researchers

Reported today in Inside Higher Ed:

White applicants for grants from the National Institutes of Health were significantly likelier than black researchers to win funding, according to a Science magazine study published Thursday that sought (and struggled) to explain the reasons for the gap. The study found that about 16 percent of black applicants were successful in winning NIH grants, compared to about 29 percent of applications from white researchers and 25 percent of Asian researchers.

The entire article, “Study Finds (and Examines) Gap in NIH Funding for Black and White Researchers,” is open access.

Chronicle: Budget Straits Mean Grant-Success Rate Will Hit All-Time Low, NIH Warns

Reported yesterday in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Budget cuts forced by Congress will probably mean that university medical researchers seeking federal funds will have their lowest success rate in history, National Institutes of Health officials told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Only about one in six grant applications to the NIH are expected to be approved, the agency’s director, Francis S. Collins, told a Senate appropriations subcommittee. The NIH awarded about 9,300 research grants last year, with an application success rate of about 20 percent, Dr. Collins said.

NINR Stats/2010

Recent federal budget cuts and proposed future cuts will have a cascading effect on what has already been a challenging season for nurse researchers. According to NINR’s stats for last year, few grant applications were approved. Word on the street is that all NIH funding mechanisms have pulled back for fear that three-year or five-year awards would not have the funds available to complete them.

Activity Code

Number of Applications Reviewed

Number of Applications Awarded

Success Rate3

Total Funding4

P01

3

0

0.0%

$0

R01

214

37

17.3%

$19,181,391

R03

33

3

9.1%

$266,738

R15

28

3

10.7%

$803,313

R21

161

15

9.3%

$3,229,076

Mechanism Total

439

58

13.2%

$23,480,518

F31

84

33

39.3%

$1,151,966

F32

1

1

100.0%

$54,854

K01

8

4

50.0%

$370,360

K23

9

5

55.6%

$604,660

K24

1

0

0.0%

$0

K99

8

4

50.0%

$320,232

R41

3

1

33.3%

$80,292

R42

1

0

0.0%

$0

R43

28

0

0.0%

$0

R44

10

3

30.0%

$748,425

T32

8

2

25.0%

$264,287

Mechanism Total

161

53

32.9%

$3,595,076

R24

0

0

0.0%

$114,000

Mechanism Total

0

0

0.0%

$114,000

NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network

The NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network

(OppNet) is seeking input from the scientific community, health professionals, patient advocates, and the general public about current and emerging priorities in basic behavioral and social sciences research (b-BSSR).  A formal request for information (RFI) has just been published in the NIH Guide: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-055.html .

We encourage your participation in this RFI by recommending top priority challenges for b-BSSR.  For detailed information about the RFI and to submit your ideas, please go to http://bbssrresponse.com/ .

This information will enable OppNet to strategically plan future investments in b-BSSR.   The deadline for responding to this RFI is February 19th, 2010.  We are seeking your help in identifying broad priority areas.  The purpose of this RFI is not to solicit ideas for specific, individual research proposals.

The mission of OppNet is to pursue opportunities for strengthening b-BSSR at the NIH while innovating beyond existing investments.

Further information about OppNet, including the definition of what is meant by basic-BSSR (critical to understand if you are going to identify priority areas for investment) can found at http://oppnet.nih.gov/ .  As partial  background, OppNet ‘s mission is to pursue opportunities for strengthening b-BSSR at the NIH while innovating beyond existing investments. Its goals are to:

   * Advance b-BSSR through activities and initiatives that build a body of knowledge about the nature of behavior and social systems.

   * Prioritize activities and initiatives that focus on basic mechanisms of behavior and social processes that (a) are relevant to the missions and public health challenges of multiple NIH ICs and Offices, and (b) build upon existing NIH investments without replicating them.

Chronicle: NIH Offers Less Money, New Priorities, More Oversight

Reported today in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Six months into his job as NIH director, Francis S. Collins is close to announcing new ethics rules for universities and their scientists, to ensure that medical research isn’t corrupted by corporate financing.

That may not be the only shake-up. In an interview last week with The Chronicle, Dr. Collins also said he wanted universities to steer more money to younger researchers, to avoid letting their researchers rely solely on federal grants, and to share their scientific findings more widely.

In addition, the NIH, the nation’s largest provider of money for academic research, is warning universities that federal support will almost certainly decline after last year’s infusion of money from the stimulus measure.

The article, “NIH Will Give Less and Demand More in 2010, New Leader Says,” by Paul Basken, is available on line to subscribers.

Chronicle: Compromise Budget Bill Would Increase Pell Grant and Funds for NIH and NSF

Reported today in the online Chronicle of Higher Education:

Legislators in Congress have agreed on a compromise spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year that would increase appropriations for Pell Grants, minority-serving institutions, and programs for disadvantaged and first-generation college students.

. . . The National Institutes of Health would get $31-billion under the bill, $250-million more than President Obama’s request and $692-million more than last year’s budget, according to a news release from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill also includes $6.9-billion for the National Science Foundation, a $436-million increase over its 2009 budget and slightly less than the $7.04-billion Mr. Obama had requested. The bill also continues the prohibition of using federal funds for research that creates or destroys human embryos.

The full article is available on line to subscribers.

Inside Higher Ed: Ground Breaking Science Unfunded

According to the article “Risky Business” by Jack Stripling in Inside Higher Ed:

Some of history’s major scientific and technological breakthroughs started as research projects with little promise of bearing fruit, but funding for “high risk, high reward” research has always been difficult to secure. In an economic downturn, finding money for these projects is likely to be even more challenging. . . .

The problem, however, is that researchers seldom have the freedom to pursue big ideas that don’t fit neatly into grant proposals for the National Institutes of Health or other funding agencies, panelists told the subcommittee. Moreover, they often lack funding to investigate whether the germ of a big idea has promise. The well-known mantra for researchers, therefore, is “don’t put it in your grant proposal unless you know it will work,” said [Neal] Lane, former director of the National Science Foundation.

The complete article is available on line.