K99-R00 Publication Analysis-Part 3-IC Investments

Oct 22 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

After my previous post, Drugmonkey commented on the number of K99 awards expected from each IC based on its share of the overall NIH budget. I examined the number of new K99 awards for each IC for fiscal years 2007-2013. There have been only relatively modest variation from year to year for each IC. Moreover, the number of K99 awards for each IC is approximately proportional to its share of the overall NIH budget with a few notable exceptions. This is shown below:

K99 Obs vs Expected

This plot shows the expected number of awards based on a total of 190 awards across NIH versus the average number of awards per year for each IC. The number of awards for most ICs is relatively close to that expected. The biggest outlier by far is NIAID where 30 awards per year are expected, but the actual average number of awards is approximately 6. For NCI, the numbers of awards per year expected is 33 and the average is 27. In the other direction, the number of awards expected is 20 but the average number of awards is 29.

16 responses so far

  • NIAID really hates the K99 program. I wonder why?

  • Dave says:

    My understanding is that the K99 money comes from the same pool as other K awards. So my guess would be that NIAID prefers other K-mechs that might be cheaper and that would allow them to award more grants.

  • k22er says:

    Speaking from personal experience, NIAID funds a number of K22 awards, which is a funding mechanism that most of the institutes don't use. Ad Dave mentioned, these are cheaper awards, so it probably lets NIAID fund more postdocs transitioning to faculty positions then just funding K99s would.

  • SaG says:

    NIAID prefers funding K22s. They currently fund 35 http://projectreporter.nih.gov/Reporter_Viewsh.cfm?sl=13EBCB0B4B84C6DE7598B8961CAA4A01A2FFCEB861BF

    My guess is that they don't believe that K99/R00s will do what they are supposed to, get peeps funded with an R01 at a younger age. Better for post-docs to get a k22 and start writing their first R01 ASAP rather than delaying a year or two while spending their R00 money.

    Also, the R00 part probably comes from the R01 pool.

  • Datahound says:

    It appears that NIAID was not supportive of this program from its inception in that the number of K99 awards was always much smaller that would be expected from the budget and the NIH Director at the time (Zerhouni) gave each institute a target to get the program launched.

    Interestingly, the frequency of transition to R01 funding appears to be higher for NIAID than for any other IC (see http://datahound.scientopia.org/2014/07/22/k99-r00-evaluation-ic-distribution/ ) at least for the frist two cohorts.

    Yes, K99 funds do come from the same pool as other K awards, but the ICs can rebudget from year to year so their is not reason by NIAID could not expand their participation in this program if they wanted to.

  • Noncoding Arenay says:

    Last year on Rock Talk, Dr. Rockey said the NIH was aiming for a 30% overall success rate (http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2013/05/16/more-information-on-the-k99r00-awards/). However, if one looks at the overall success rate for 2013, it actually reduced by 1.4% from 2012. I'd be interested to see the numbers for 2014 once they are out. I wonder whether the individual ICs have taken the 30% target to heart. See this: http://report.nih.gov/success_rates/index.aspx

  • becca says:

    Yay for data!

  • Noncoding Arenay says:

    Actually, turns out they will implement the 30% target from Feb 2014 onwards...

    • Noncoding Arenay says:

      There's some problem with comments. I had posted a comment prior to this one in which I said that on the Rock Talk blog last year Dr. Rockey mentioned that the NIH is aiming for an overall success rate of 30% for K99/R00s. In 2013 the overall success rate was lower by 1.4% as compared to 2012. I'd be curious to see what the numbers look like for 2014 and beyond once they are out. It'll give us some insight as to what extent each IC has taken the 30% target to heart.

  • k22er says:

    NIAID does fund a number of extramural K22 awards, which many institutes do not. Although the funding for these are not as high as for the K99/R00, they do provide $250k over the first two years of a TT position, which is obviously a significant help to many new faculty. How much would this contribute to the lower number of K99s? (And I agree that there are issues with comments, I tried posting this before).

  • k22er says:

    I agree that there seems to be a problem with the comments, but I'll give this one more shot. Anyway, NIAID also supports a decent number of extramural K22 awards, which most other institutes do not. If this comes out of the same pool that could be one explanation. Although the K22 doesn't provide as much funding as the K22/R00, it does provide funding for the first 2 years of a TT faculty career, which can be very helpful in getting a position and getting started quickly.

  • K99er says:

    FYI, NIAID also only allows 1 year as a postdoc and 2 years of R00 phase funding, rather than a total of 5 yrs provided by other ICs. Study sections (and Datahounds) might keep this in mind when judging/comparing productivity of NIAID K99/R00 recipients to others.

  • Dubya says:

    NIAID hates young investigators #oldfogies4eva

  • datahound says:

    Thanks for all for the comments about the NIAID program. It will be interesting to look at outcomes.

  • datahound says:

    Looking at NIAID K99s for FY2007-2009, 20 awards, 70% went on to get R01 or equivalent and 1 moved to intramural program. For K22 FY2007-2009 awards, 35 awards. 63% went on to get R01s. Thus, if you defined R01 as success, the K99 program yielded more successes, but the cost per award is higher.

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