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NIGMS Funding Trends Analysis

The following data are related to an NIGMS Feedback Loop post from June 18, 2015, on Further Analysis of Renewal Rates for New and Established NIGMS Investigator Projects.

Figure 1 Weighted Publication Counts Per Million Dollars for New R01 Projects Funded by NIGMS in FY 2004-2007: No T2 Application, New Investigator: 211 projects, 1.4 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 3.2 weighted publications/$ million median, 5.9 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator: 343 projects, .9 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 1.9 weighted publications/$ million median, 4 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator: 543 projects, 2.7 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 4.6 weighted publications/$ million median, 7.2 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator: 450 projects, 2.1 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 3.9 weighted publications/$ million median, 6.4 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator: 270 projects, 2.3 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 4.2 weighted publications/$ million median, 6.4 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator: 209 projects, 1.7 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 2.8 weighted publications/$ million median, 4.7 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator: 273 projects, 3.0 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 5.2 weighted publications/$ million median, 8.3 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator: 241 projects, 2.9 weighted publications/$ million 25th percentile, 4.8 weighted publications/$ million median, 7.7 weighted publications/$ million 75th percentile.

Figure 1. Weighted publication numbers per million dollars of total cost for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007. All publications (retrieved from SPIRES) were counted that cited the NIGMS grant and that were published within 5 years following the fiscal year of the initial award (the outcome was similar when only counting publications that were published within 4 years following the fiscal year of the initial award). To determine weighting factors for each publication associated with a given R01 grant, the number (n) of acknowledged NIH research grants was counted  (excluding SBIR/STTR, infrastructure, training and conference grants). For example, if four research grants were acknowledged (n=4), this publication contributed only 0.25 to the sum of publications for this project. Within this cohort, publications from established investigator projects acknowledged, on average, 2.0 NIH research grants, and publications from new investigators acknowledged, on average, 1.7 NIH grants. Using weighted publication counts affected the results of established investigator projects more strongly than they did for new investigator projects. Each category included a few extreme positive outliers with 80-100 publications, and most categories contained at least one project with no publications. Since arithmetic means are more sensitive to a few high-performing outliers, median values were used throughout the analysis and for statistical evaluation to compare distributions across categories.

The overall pattern in the distributions was similar when analyzing unweighted publication numbers either with or without stratification for million dollars appropriated (see Figures 1A and 1B), except for the category of "T2 Funded," where the distribution of unweighted publication counts per million dollars of total cost was higher for established investigator projects than for new investigator projects.

Figure 1A Unweighted Publication Counts: No T2 Application, New Investigator, 211 projects, unweighted publications, 3 25th percentile, 7 median, 11 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 343 projects, unweighted publications, 2 25th percentile, 4 median, 8 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator, 543 projects, unweighted publications, 6 25th percentile, 10 median, 15 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator, 450 projects, unweighted publications, 5 25th percentile, 9 median, 14 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator, 270 projects, unweighted publications, 5 25th percentile, 9 median, 13 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator, 209 projects, unweighted publications, 4  25th percentile, 6 median, 10 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator, 273 projects, unweighted publications, 7 25th percentile, 12 median, 17 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator, 241 projects unweighted publications, 7 25th percentile, 11 median, 17 75th percentile.

Figure 1A. Unweighted publication numbers for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007.

Figure 1B: No T2 Application, New Investigator, 211 projects, unweighted publications, 2.2 25th percentile, 4.7 median, 7.6 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 343 projects, unweighted publications, 1.6 25th percentile, 3.2 median, 6.2 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator, 543 projects, unweighted publications, 3.5 25th percentile, 6.1 median, 9.4 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator, 450 projects, unweighted publications, 3.7 25th percentile, 5.9 median, 9.4 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator, 270 projects, unweighted publications, 3.2 25th percentile, 5.1 median, 8.7 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator, 209 projects, unweighted publications, 2.5 25th percentile, 4.7 median, 7 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator, 273 projects, unweighted publications, 4.2 25th percentile, 7 median, 10.1 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator, 241 projects, unweighted publications, 4.8 25th percentile, 7.1 median, 11.2 75th percentile.

Figure 1B. Unweighted publication numbers per million dollars of total cost for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007. At NIGMS, most new investigator R01 grants receive 5 years of funding, while established investigator projects receive 4 years of funding. Therefore, on average, stratification by total cost decreased publication numbers per million dollars more strongly for new investigator projects than for established investigator projects.

Figure 1C Comparison of Publication Counts: Publications, New Investigator, 754 projects, 4 25th percentile, 7 median, 11 75th percentile; Publications, Established Investigator, 793 projects, 3 25th percentile, 6 median, 8.9 75th percentile; Publications/$Million, New Investigator, 754 projects, 3 25th percentile, 5.6 median, 9 75th percentile; Publications/$Million, Established Investigator, 793 projects, 2.5 25th percentile, 4.7 median, 7.9 75th percentile; Weighted Publications/$Million, New Investigator, 754 projects, 2.3 25th percentile, 4.4 median, 7 75th percentile; Weighted Publications/$Million, Established Investigator, 793 projects, 1.4 25th percentile 2.9, median, 5.3 75th percentile.

Figure 1C. Comparison of publication numbers for all new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007. Overall, new investigator projects had a higher publication rate than new established investigator projects.

Figure 2 Weighted Citation Counts per Million Dollars: No T2 Application, New Investigator: 211 projects, 23 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 69 weighted citations/$ million median, 141 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator: 343 projects, 13 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 41 weighted citations/$ million median, 103 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator: 543 projects, 51 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 115 weighted citations/$ million median, 228 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator: 450 projects, 48 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 112 weighted citations/$ million median, 220 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator: 270 projects, 38 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 75 weighted citations/$ million median, 165 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator: 209 projects, 25 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 69 weighted citations/$ million median, 142 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator: 273 projects, 76 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 152 weighted citations/$ million median, 301 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator: 241 projects, 73 weighted citations/$ million 25th percentile, 175 weighted citations/$ million median, 325 weighted citations/$ million 75th percentile.

Figure 2. Total weighted citation numbers through the end of calendar year 2014 for publications within 5 years following the fiscal year of the initial award per million dollars of total cost for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007. Citation counts were retrieved from Scopus (Elsevier) Link to external Web site. Weighted citation counts were calculated as the sum of the weighted citations for all publications associated with each project. The weighting factor was determined as described in Figure 1. Weighting the citation counts for how many NIH research grants were acknowledged in each publication more strongly affected the results for established investigator projects than for new investigator projects.

Figure 2A: No T2 Application, New Investigator, 211 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 38 25th percentile, 94 median, 195 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 343 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 25 25th percentile, 70 median, 186 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator, 543 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 71 25th percentile, 179 median, 325 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator 450 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 75 25th percentile, 190 median, 370 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator 270 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 51 25th percentile, 115 median, 255 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator, 209 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 41 25th percentile, 120 median, 220 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator, 273 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 120 25th percentile, 215 median, 415 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator, 241 projects, unweighted citations/$Million, 145 25th percentile, 270 median, 520 75th percentile.

Figure 2A. Unweighted citation numbers per million dollars of total cost for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007.

While the distribution of unweighted citation numbers for those projects for which a renewal application was submitted was shifted toward higher median counts for established investigator projects versus new investigator projects (Figure 2A), the new investigator projects had higher unweighted and weighted median citation counts when considering all new R01 grants funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007 (see Figure 2B).

Figure 2B Comparison of Citation Counts: Citations, New Investigator, 754 projects, 75 25th percentile, 180 median, 365 75th percentile; Citations, Established Investigator, 793 projects, 45 25th percentile, 148 median, 345 75th percentile; Citations/$Millions, New Investigator, 754 projects, 65 25th percentile, 145 median, 290 75th percentile; Citations/$Millions, Established Investigator, 793 projects, 45 25th percentile, 130 median, 305 75th percentile; Weighted Citations/$Millions, New Investigator, 754 projects, 47 25th percentile, 95 median, 205 75th percentile; Weighted Citations/$Millions, Established Investigators, 793 projects, 25 25th percentile, 70 median, 180 75th percentile.

Figure 2B. Comparison of citation counts for all new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007.

Figure 3: No T2 Application, New Investigator, 206 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 1.1 25th percentile 2.8, median, 4.3 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 343 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, .7 25th percentile, 1.7 median, 3.2 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator, 543 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 2.6 25th percentile, 4.4 median, 7.5 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator, 449 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 1.9 25th percentile, 3.8 median, 6.9 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator, 270 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 1.9 25th percentile, 3.3 median, 5.5 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator, 209 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 1.4 25th percentile, 2.4 median, 4.2 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator, 273 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 3.7 25th percentile, 5.9 median, 9.4 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator, 240 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 3.2 25th percentile, 5.4 median, 9.8 75th percentile.

Figure 3. Distribution of the weighted, normalized citation impact for publications per million dollars of total cost for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007. The normalized citation impact for each publication was obtained from the Thompson Reuters InCites database (Bornmann & Marx, 2013, Kaltman et al., 2014, Danthi et al., 2014). It assigns a value between 0 and 1 to each publication and is a measure of the publication's relative impact normalized for scientific discipline, type of publication (e.g., research article, review, commentary) and publication year. For example, a value of 1 designates publications that were cited the highest compared to other papers within the same scientific discipline, year and publication type. For those projects that resulted in no publications, the summary value was set to 0.

Figure 3A: No T2 Application, New Investigator, 206 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 1.9 25th percentile, 3.9 median, 6.8 75th percentile; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 343 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 1.3 25th percentile, 2.7 median, 5.5 75th percentile; T2 Application, New Investigator, 543 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 3.8 25th percentile, 6.6 median, 11.4 75th percentile; T2 Application, Established Investigator, 449 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 3.2 25th percentile, 6.2 median, 11.7 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, New Investigator, 270 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 2.8 25th percentile, 4.8 median, 7.9 75th percentile; T2 Not Funded, Established Investigator, 209 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 2.1 25th percentile, 3.8 median, 6.4 75th percentile; T2 Funded, New Investigator, 273 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 5.4 25th percentile, 8.7 median, 14.2 75th percentile; T2 Funded, Established Investigator, 240 projects, normalized citation impact/$Million, 6 25th percentile, 9.4 median, 15.8 75th percentile.

Figure 3A. Distribution of the unweighted, normalized citation impact for publications per million dollars of total cost for new R01 projects from new and established investigators funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007.

Figure 4: No T2 Application, New Investigator, 4%, 1 other award, 96% 0 other NIH awards; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 1%, 4 other R01-type awards, 2%, 3 other awards, 13%, 2 other awards, 44%, 1 other award, 39% no other R01-type awards; T2 Application, New Investigator, 4% 1 other R01-type award, 96% no other awards; T2 Application, Established Investigator, 2% 3 other R01-type awards, 14%, 2 other awards, 48%, 1 other award, 36%, no other awards.

Figure 4. NIGMS investigators' other NIH research support in the same fiscal year as their new NIGMS R01 award, Fiscal Years 2004-2007.

Figure 4A: No T2 Application, New Investigator, in fiscal year of new award, 4 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 96 percent of projects with no other award; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, in fiscal year of new award, 61 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 39 percent of projects with no other award; T2 Application, New Investigator, in fiscal year of new award, 4 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 96 percent of projects with no other award; T2 Application, Established Investigator, in fiscal year of new award, 64 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 36 percent of projects with no other award; No T2 Application, New Investigator, 5 years after new award, 18 percent of projects with new support since R01 start, 20 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 80 percent of projects with no other award; No T2 Application, Established Investigator, 5 years after new award, 29 percent of projects with new support since R01 start, 52 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 48 percent of projects with no other award; T2 Application, New Investigator, 5 years after new award, 20 percent of projects with new support since R01 start, 21 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 79 percent of projects with no other award; T2 Application, Established Investigator, 5 years after new award, 25 percent of projects with new support since R01 start, 56 percent of projects with one or more other awards, 44 percent of projects with no other award.

Figure 4A. NIGMS investigators' other NIH research support in the same fiscal year as their new NIGMS R01 award (left panel) and 5 years after the start of their new NIGMS R01 award (right panel), Fiscal Years 2004-2007. Four percent of new investigator projects were to investigators who also received another R01-type research project grant (R01, R37, DP1) in the same fiscal year, while more than 60% of the established investigator projects were to investigators with at least one other R01-type research project grant. Five years after the new R01 award, when investigators are about to, in the process of or have just completed their first renewal of that R01, more than 50% of established investigator projects and about 20% of new investigator projects had an investigator with at least one other R01-type research grant. Also indicated are the percentage of projects that had investigators who obtained a new R01-type research award within 5 years of the R01.

Additional considerations:

Some investigators may not attempt to renew their R01 project due to retirement. A look at the established investigators within the "No T2 Application" cohort yielded a rate of 5.5% that did not submit any NIH research grant application for at least 5 years beginning 3 years after the new R01 award, which could indicate that they permanently left the applicant pool.

Statistical analysis:

Wilcoxon rank sum tests were performed to evaluate the statistical significance of the differences in distributions between new investigator and established investigator cohorts and between the "No T2 Application" and "T2 Application" categories as well as between the "T2 Not Funded" and "T2 Funded" categories.


The following data are related to an NIGMS Feedback Loop post from February 26, 2015, on Improved Success Rate and Other Funding Trends in Fiscal Year 2014.

Figure 1. Number of competing RPG applications assigned to NIGMS (blue line with diamonds, left axis) and number funded (red line with squares, left axis) for Fiscal Years 2002-2014. The success rate (number of applications funded divided by the total number of applications) is shown in the green line with triangles, right axis. Data: Tony Moore.

Figure 1. Number of competing RPG applications assigned to NIGMS (blue line with diamonds, left axis) and number funded (red line with squares, left axis) for Fiscal Years 2002-2014. The success rate (number of applications funded divided by the total number of applications) is shown in the green line with triangles, right axis. Data: Tony Moore.

Figure 2. Percentage of competing R01 applications funded by NIGMS as a function of percentile scores for Fiscal Years 2010-2014. For Fiscal Year 2014, the success rate for R01 applications was 25.7 percent, and the midpoint of the funding curve was at approximately the 22nd percentile. Data: Jim Deatherage.

Figure 2. Percentage of competing R01 applications funded by NIGMS as a function of percentile scores for Fiscal Years 2010-2014. For Fiscal Year 2014, the success rate for R01 applications was 25.7 percent, and the midpoint of the funding curve was at approximately the 22nd percentile. The analysis includes competing types 1, 2 and 9 percentiled NIGMS R01 and R37 applications. If an A0 and A1 application for the same project were reviewed in the same fiscal year, both were counted. The horizontal axis is the application percentile score. Applications were grouped in overlapping bins that are centered on integral percentiles (0,1,2,....40) and are 5 percentile units wide (from -2.5 percentile units to +2.4 percentile units).

Figure 3. Number of competing R01 applications (solid black bars) assigned to NIGMS and number funded (striped red bars) in Fiscal Year 2014 as a function of percentile scores. Data: Jim Deatherage.

Figure 3. Number of competing R01 applications (solid black bars) assigned to NIGMS and number funded (striped red bars) in Fiscal Year 2014 as a function of percentile scores. The analysis includes competing types 1, 2 and 9 percentiled NIGMS R01 and R37 applications. If an A0 and A1 application for the same project were reviewed in the same fiscal year, both were counted. The horizontal axis is the application percentile score. Applications were grouped in bins that are centered on integral percentiles (0,1,2,....40) are 1 percentile unit wide; the bins do not overlap.


The following data are related to an NIGMS Feedback Loop post from February 13, 2015, on Examining the First Competing Renewal Rates of New NIGMS Investigators.

Percent Funded by End of Project Period (approximate) 53% 2002, 53% 2003, 52% 2004, 45% 2005, 44% 2006, 43% 2007, 43% 2008, 38% 2009, 39% 2010, 35% 2011, 32% 2012

Figure 1. Percentage of new investigators' R01 and R29 grants that were successfully renewed. The horizontal axis is the fiscal year in which the first project period ended. The vertical axis is the percentage of these projects that were successfully renewed at least once (regardless of whether the new or amended competing renewal application was funded) by the end of Fiscal Year 2014.

Renewal history at the end date of first project based on paid, not paid, and no application submitted (approximate). 2002 53% paid, 20% not paid, 27% no application. 2003 53% paid, 23% not paid, 24% no application. 2004 52% paid, 27% not paid, 21% no application. 2005 45% paid, 32% not paid, 23% no application. 2006 43% paid, 34% not paid, 23% no application. 2007 43% paid, 30% not paid, 27% no application. 2008 43% paid, 33% not paid, 24% no application. 2009 38% paid, 33% not paid, 29% no application. 2010 39% paid, 36% not paid, 25% no application. 2011 35% paid, 38% not paid, 27% no application. 2012 32% paid, 35% not paid, 33% no application.

Figure 2. Renewal history of new investigators' R01 and R29 grants between Fiscal Years 2002-2012. The bottom section (green) shows successful renewals (paid), which are also shown in Figure 1; the middle section (red) shows grants for which renewal was attempted but was not successful (not paid); and the top section (blue) shows grants for which no renewal application was submitted (no app).

Percentage of Projects funded by grant years (approximate) 31% 1st renewals for grant years 4-6, 49% 2nd renewals for grant years 7-12, 54% for 3rd and greater renewals for grant years 12 or greater

Figure 3. Competing renewal rates for the first, second and third or more renewals of NIGMS R01 grants awarded between Fiscal Years 2004-2007 to new and established investigators.

Renewal history by percentage of projects FY2004-FY2007 by type of investigator (approximate). All renewals by established investigators 46% paid, 24% not paid, 30% no application. Renewals of new projects by established investigators 30% paid, 25% not paid, 45% no application. Renewals of new projects by new investigators, 36% paid, 35% not paid, 29% no application.

Figure 4. Renewal history of NIGMS R01 projects from new and established investigators that were initially funded by NIGMS between Fiscal Years 2004-2007.

Percentage of new and established investigators' projects renewed in relation to the percentile ranking of the original award (approximate). Percentile 0-9, new investigators 41% paid, 28% not paid, 31% no application. Percentile 0-9 established investigators, 34% paid, 22% not paid, 44% no application. Percentile 10-19, new investigators, 32% paid, 41% not paid, 27% no application. Percentile 10-19, established investigators 28% paid, 29% not paid, 43% no application. 20th percentile and greater, new investigators 41% funded, 36% not paid, 23% no application. 20th percentile and greater, established investigators 26% paid, 29% not paid, 45% no application.

Figure 5. Renewal history of NIGMS R01 projects from new and established investigators that were initially funded between Fiscal Years 2004-2007 in relation to the percentile ranking (0-9th, 10-19th, and 20th and higher percentiles) of the original award. The number of projects in each of the six categories analyzed from left (new investigators, 0-9th percentile) to right (established investigators, ≥20th percentile) are: 239, 328, 299, 347, 172 and 102.

This page last reviewed on July 06, 2015