publication date: Dec. 6, 2019

Lowy: Paylines are dropping because NCI is drawing more applicants who would’ve previously gone elsewhere

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

After an examination of the causes of an avalanche of grant applications directed at NCI, institute officials found that new applications largely come from principal investigators  who are switching their research focus to cancer. No other  NIH institute or center faces such pressure.

In its efforts to increase funding for the Research Project Grant pool and maintain success rates, NCI has crunched funding data and has characterized factors that are driving a sharp increase in grant applications over the past five years.

Overall, the number of unique NCI R01/R37 applicants has increased by 48% between fiscal years 2013 and 2019. Almost 40% of the influx can be attributed to applicants who were never part of the NIH. By way of comparison, other NIH institutes and centers saw a 9% increase over the same six-year period.

“The most important is to really support the RPG pool,” said NCI Director Ned Sharpless, addressing the Dec. 3 meeting of the Board of Scientific Advisors and the National Cancer Advisory Board.

“That is an area where we’ve committed a tremendous amount of new funding last two years, and where I hope we will be able to do so in 2020 as well.”

Sharpless’s director’s report appears here.

Rising enthusiasm from extramural scientists can be a good problem to have, said NCI Principal Deputy Director Douglas Lowy.

“In many ways, this is really very good news, because it implies that—just as Ned was saying in his presentation—we’re attracting a lot of people to become … Continue reading Lowy: Paylines are dropping because NCI is drawing more applicants who would’ve previously gone elsewhere

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