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Research Support Numbers

The US National Institutes of Health last year supported about 2,500 organizations, including 640 organizations that received competing research project grants, writes Michael Lauer, the deputy director for extramural research at NIH, at his Nexus blog. He adds that those awards involved more than 11,000 principal investigators.

In addition, Lauer notes that the size of those RPGs went up by about 4 percent from $499,221 in fiscal year 2016 to $520,429 in fiscal year 2017, and that R01 equivalent grants also went up by about 5 percent, from $458,287 to $482,395.

The success rate of RPGs dipped very slightly for fiscal year 2017, falling from 19.1 percent in 2016 to 18.7 percent in 2017, which was still slightly higher than the 2014 or 2015 rates. R01s, meanwhile, had a success rate of 19.3 percent in 2017, as compared to 20.0 percent in 2016.

"Success rates continue to remain far below the 30 percent levels we saw 15 [years to] 20 years ago, during the NIH doubling; the low success rates reflect the hypercompetitive environment we continue to face," Lauer writes.