Federal RePORTER-A New Tool of Science Data Wonks

Sep 26 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

Recently, Drugmonkey put up a post with the understated title Federal RePORTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! He noted to a new project from the Star Metrics program with a version of the NIH RePORTER website that now has data from NSF, USDA, and EPA, in addition NIH. Needless to say, I could not resist having a look.

One question that occurred to me right away is how many NIH funded investigators also have NSF funding. A quick download from Federal RePORTER and I had an answer (given my previous work on NIH data).

For FY2013:

25361 investigators had R-mechanism funding from NIH

11440 awards were listed on Federal RePORTER from NSF corresponding to 10260 unique investigators (with some uncertainty due to potential name overlap)

196 individuals were on both lists.

This strikes me as a surprisingly low number, corresponding to a few investigators per institution. However, I grew up in chemistry departments which is likely an area where funding from both NIH and NSF is most common.

Suggestions about other questions are welcome although the data available from Federal RePORTER is still limited (e.g. only back to 2004).

7 responses so far

  • datahound says:

    Further examination reveals that in addition to the other agencies covered by NIH RePORTER (AHRQ, SAMHSA, FDA, CDC), Federal RePORTER also covers NASA and DOD.

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    Wow! That is a shockingly low overlap. I guess the NSF program douche who told me not to bother applying since I was an NIH-funded med school PI was right.

    • datahound says:

      Perhaps, but it would interesting to know how much of the lack of overlap is related to failure to apply versus failure to be funded.

  • Rheophile says:

    I'm in a group that is funded by both NIH and NSF... had not thought it was that rare! However, I don't know how reliable the Federal RePORTER is yet - it doesn't find my mentor's NSF grant. (Maybe it doesn't catch Co-Is well?) In addition, my group (and a few other groups I can think of offhand) might not be on your list, since our funding comes from a P01, not an R-mech.

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    Yeah. Maybe I should have ignored that douche and applied.

  • datahound says:

    As I look further into this, I am discovering more caveats about Federal RePORTER. In particular, multi-year NSF awards are frequently funded about of 1 fiscal year with no non-competing awards in subsequent years. Unfortunately, Federal RePORTER does not appear to allow easy downloading of project periods. Thus, my estimate of the number of investigators with both NIH and NSF is almost certainly low by as much as a factor of 3 or 4.

  • LIZR says:

    Even searching the official NSF awards database can be frustrating. If you want to know how much money was awarded for a particular grant, you first need to determine whether the entire amount was awarded in year 1, or whether it is a continuing award with annual non-competing funding installments. As far as I can tell, this information is not provided in the searchable NSF database but can be inferred based on what NSF division/mechanism the award is made through. For continuing awards, the amount of funds awarded is cumulative. So for instance, for an active award the amount of funding listed is the amount awarded in year 1 + the amount awarded in any subsequent non-competing annual installments of the grant. In order to determine the total amount of the award or the amount awarded annually you need to look at the start and end dates of the award and figure out how many non-competing awards have been made.

    Grant information presented in NIH RePORTER is much easier to interpret at a glance, so I am excited to see that Federal RePORTER is being developed. However, I assume the NSF award data will simply be directly ported over without modification, so there will still be inconstancies in how funding data from different NSF awards is presented.

Leave a Reply