FY2012 success rates at NIH

January 3, 2013

…are holding steady, according to Sally Rockey.

18% for R01 and 14% for R21 applications. Center applications enjoy a nice 33% success rate*.

Application numbers are up….no surprise there. Too many mouths at the trough, not enough slop.

UPDATE: Going from her link, Rockey meant RPG success rates (at 18%), not just R01s.
2012R01success[click, then click again to embiggen]

It’s just amazing how Rockey fails to mention how this is down from the 2006-2009 plateau just above 20% and the 1998-2002 plateau above 30% isn’t it?

Looking back on these data, the first thought that comes to my mind is, “We made it.” Despite a flat budget and complex fiscal times, we maintained last year’s success rate and slightly increased the amount of award dollars that went to research project grants.

That ain’t the first thing that comes to my mind, o fearless leader of Extramural Research.

Why on earth the NIH wants to tell Congress “We’re doing okay”, when in fact the situation sucks, escapes me. They can’t “lobby” but this doesn’t mean they can’t provide the fullest picture at all possible times does it? I mean, how is saying “everything’s peachy” by only comparing to last year any less “lobbying” than saying “we’re way way down from the good years”?
*o rly? Interesting. Even accounting for a high continuation : new application ratio, this seems quite favorable.

No Responses Yet to “FY2012 success rates at NIH”

  1. Actually, re centers, I’m surprised that it’s that low. There are often a very limited number of applicants (many institutions simply can’t meet the application requirements), and continuations, as you note, are very successful.


  2. DrugMonkey Says:

    Could be a high RFA:unsolicited ratio? Or high PO-interaction ratio?

    Might drive up apparent success rates too.

    And I agree, I do suspect that probably only those that are highly successful at the R01 game would try for a Center.


  3. Or pre-submission discouragement from PO’s who don’t want to deal the back-benchers.


  4. I think a high RFA:unsolicited ratio or high PO-interaction ratio definitely helps in my experience, but the larger center applications (e.g., genome centers) set requirements for production, resources etc., that maybe ten sites in the U.S. have (leaving aside the important benefits of track records, etc.).


  5. whimple Says:

    “We made it” depends very much on who “we” are. Typical clueless denialism. Success rates are the same, but how much money does success bring these days in real dollar spending terms?


  6. […] Science Foundation are at their lowest percentages in history (see the dotted line on the figure at this DrugMonkey post). At the NIH, many institutes are funding at the 11th percentile (and I’ve seen some in […]


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