NIH boosting diversity efforts in review processes

The NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program (HRHR) has the potential to overturn fundamental paradigms, but historically the applicant and awardee pools have not fully represented the demographic and geographic diversity across the U.S. biomedical workforce, says the NIH’s deputy director for extramural research.

NIH launches $1.5 billion “shark tank” to accelerate testing

The most recently-passed federal legislation to address COVID-19 included funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to accelerate testing. The provision, added by Sens.

Useful Stats: Measuring NIH SBIR/STTR Awards by State, 2019

In this week’s edition of Useful Stats, we take a look at NIH’s SBIR/STTR program by state, including the success rate of applications, the share SBIR awards make up of NIH funding to for-profit companies by state, and the total number of awards by state. It should be noted that SSTI was able to prepare this information because of the excellent transparency of information that NIH offers on its website, a model that should be replicated by other federal agencies.

NIH activates new funding vehicle for COVID-19 R&D, other measures seek more information

For the first time and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) together with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has activated the NIH Urgent Award mechanism. The targeted opportunity is intended to provide funds for NIH grantees applying to expand the scope of their active grant.

NIH issues new notice on diversity

NIH has taken an expanded approach in defining scientists from disadvantaged backgrounds, in an effort to encourage and enable more biomedical scientists. NIH determined that the criteria they were using in defining disadvantaged was too narrow; for example, what was considered low-income ($25,750 for a family of four) is actually considered severe poverty and represents an overly strict threshold, the reviewers found.

Three studies probe NIH R&D representation, conflicts of interest

In recent weeks, three separate reviews of R&D grants and awards at NIH have shed new light on issues of minority and women representation among researchers and on potential conflicts of interest by investigators. NIH has been publicly working to address concerns about representation and trustworthiness among its investigators. While the results from these studies show that the agency has more work to do, the availability of this information speaks favorably to NIH's transparent approach to these conversations. 

Useful Stats: NIH awards by metro, 2014-2018

Home to the Research Triangle Park and top-tier research universities like Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area led all regions in per capita NIH funding in FY 2018 and placed sixth in total funding that year, according to a new analysis by SSTI. This edition of Useful Stats looks at all NIH awards at the regional level over the five-year period between FY 2014 and FY 2018. Boston led all regions in total NIH funding in FY 2018, while NIH funding in the Washington, D.C., region increased by the greatest percentage over the five-year period among major metropolitan areas.

Useful Stats: NIH Awards by State, 2009-2018

As the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, NIH awards are of particular importance to the technology-based economic development community. Including new data for FY 2017 and FY 2018, this edition of Useful Stats serves as an update to an August 2017 article highlighting NIH awards by state over the past decade. In FY 2018, NIH awarded a total of $28.3 billion in funds to the 50 states and territories. Of the total amount awarded in 2018, slightly less than two thirds (65.3 percent) went to the top 10 states. This share is slightly lower than in 2017 (65.6 percent), the same as in 2014 (65.3 percent) and slightly higher than in 2009 (66.1 percent).

NIH releases updated SBIR/STTR success rate data

Are you looking to increase the success rate of your state’s SBIR/STTR proposals? If so, a reminder that applications for the Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program are due next Friday, June 28, at 4 p.m. EDT. This program provides one-year funding to organizations executing programs related to SBIR/STTR outreach, technical assistance, or financial support.

Can $13M change the distribution pattern for NIH SBIR awards?

A significant majority of SBIR and STTR grants awarded to small businesses from the National Institutes of Health in any given year end up in just a handful of states. For example, the percentage of all 2017 SBIR/STTR awards made to companies in the 23 states and Puerto Rico eligible to participate for funding from NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program was only 8 percent – 97 of the 1,218 awards made across all phases of both innovation funding programs.  For comparison, the same states account for 15.8 percent of the estimated U.S. population in 2017. NIH wants to change that discrepancy.


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