In a recent post, I looked at the distributions of A0, A1, and A2 awards for new (Type 1) versus renewal (Type 2) R01 grants. I noted differences between trends for new and renewal awards over time and commenters Ryan and DrugMonkey noted possible reasons for these differences. As DrugMonkey said "Remember the structural issues here with Type 2s. There is a fixed number of possible Type 2s and an unlimited number of Type 1s that can come in for consideration. As each Type 2 flails out at the A1 (or previously A2) stage, it is gone forever from the pool of potential Type 2s."
NIH does release data regarding the number of applications for new versus renewal R01s (and many other mechanisms. The data for new R01 applications and awards for FY2003 to FY2013 are shown below:
These data show that the number of applications for new (Type 1) R01s grew with an initial burst immediately after the end of the doubling and then another stimulated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) implementation. The number of applications in FY2013 was 24% larger than that for FY2003. The number of awards declined relatively steadily over this period of time with a 26% drop from FY2003 to FY2013.
The situation is very different for renewal (Type 2) applications as shown below:
The number of applications for renewal (Type 2) applications grew from FY2003 to FY2006 and then declined relatively steadily through FY2013. There has been a 32% drop in the number of applications for Type 2 applications from the peak to FY2013. The number of renewal awards fell by 47% from FY2003 to FY2013.
The success rates for new and renewal R01 applications are compared below:
The success rate curves parallel one another relatively closely. The success rate for renewal applications was 48.3% in FY2003 and it fell to 31.4% in FY2013, a drop of 35%. The success rate for new applications was 24.1% in FY2003 and fell to 14.3%, a drop of 40%. As DrugMonkey noted, the pool of projects eligible to be the subject of renewal applications limited.