Twelve Months of Datahound (Eight Month Edition)-2014

Dec 04 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

Following Drugmonkey...It's been a good start.

April     Datahound's first post...

May     Indirect cost rate survey:  Motivated by the new post, I finished the list for these 49 institutions...

June     Few science policy topics have led to as much discussion as the NIH policy with regard to the number of amendments allowable for grant applications.

July     Gender disparity in K99/Roo awards...Of the 201 men with R00 awards, 114 (57%) have gone on to receive at least 1 R01 award to date. In contrast, of the 127 women with R00 awards, only 53 (42%) have received an R01 award. This difference is jarring and is statistically significant (P value=0.009).

August      These data reveal that the number of applications increased more than 2.6-fold from 5283 in FY2003 to almost 14000 in FY2012. NIH responded to this "proposal pressure" by increasing the number of awards from 1255 in FY2003 to almost 2000 in FY2012.

September     Recently, NPR (through the work of Richard Harris and colleagues) aired a series of 7 stories about biomedical research and NIH funding with 5 stories on Morning Edition

October     I am now starting to analyze the publication patterns of K99-R00 awardees. For this study, I examined the initial 2007 K99 cohort of 182 investigators, of whom 170 transitioned to R00 awards

November     In my initial post on this program, I noted that recipients of F32 awards during the same period might make a reasonable group to compare to the K99-R00 recipients. I have now performed some of this analysis.

December     I filed a request to the NIH through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on October 12 requesting available age data for New Investigators and ESIs for fiscal years 2006 through the present. Today, I received an email with an attached spreadsheet responsive to my request.


7 responses so far

  • Established PI says:

    Keep the data coming! Thanks for your hard work on behalf of the community.

    If I could put in a request, one issue I would be interested in seeing addressed is the impact of the intramural program on extramural spending, as well as data on success rates for intramural reviews. Not sure if that would take an FOA request, too, but it would be interesting to see. Or perhaps you could comment on this just based on your past experience at NIGMS.

  • Established PI says:

    I looked back at your ASBMB article, which is very informative but of course cannot get at the question of the quality of the intramural program, a question that is raised in the comments section. My very anectodal impression, which is based both on familiarity with intramural labs whose work is in my field as well as on having served on two intramural reviews, is that the bar is notably lower for intramural scientists and that the intramural program is far more forgiving of low productivity and uninspired science than the extramural program. I realize the system is different, scientists have tenure, and the response to a less than optimal review is typically budget reduction. This was easier to stomach in better times but, given today's grim funding climate, is very hard to justify to the community.

    • datahound says:

      I agree that the intramural program requires considerable scrutiny, both in general and in these challenging times. My impression is that, like extramural research, the intramural program is quite mixed with some outstanding science being done better than it could probably be done elsewhere, but also considerable more run of the mill work. As I noted in my column, a major issue is that intramural research is most expensive to the taxpayers since federal investments are not appreciably leveraged as well as other constraints. The intramural program has been growing slightly as a percentage of the overall NIH budget and I find that quite worrisome. A thorough review by a qualified but disinterested group would be important, but is challenging to do.

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