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Physician-Scientist Workforce (PSW) Report 2014

NIH RPG Award Rates by Degree Type and Experience


  • In 2012, MD/PhDs overall had higher award rates for RPGs (24.6 percent) than MDs (21.7 percent, p<0.01) or PhDs (21.4 percent, p<0.01) (Figures 3.21 to 3.23).
  • Experienced investigators have much higher award rates than first-time RPG applicants. In 2012, the award rate for MD/PhDs with a prior RPG was 30.7 percent; without a prior RPG, it was 14.1 percent. The award rate for MDs with a prior RPG was 28.7 percent; without a prior RPG, it was 14 percent. The award rate for PhDs with a prior RPG was 32.3 percent; without prior RPG it was 12.5 percent (p<0.0002 for all three groups). Figure 3.21. Award Rate of Individual NIH Research Project Grant Applicants, MD Degree (FY1999-2012) Figure 3.22. Award Rate of Individual NIH Research Project Grant Applicants, MD/PhD Degree (FY1999-2012) Figure 3.23. Award Rate of Individual NIH Research Project Grant Applicants, PhD Degree (FY1999-2012)
  • However, for R01 applications, the difference in the gap between first-time and experienced investigators has narrowed in recent years (Figure 3.24-3.26). This reduction is likely due in part to NIH’s New Investigator policies implemented in 2007 and strengthened in 2009. In 2012, the award rate for MD/PhDs with a prior R01 was 23.3 percent; without a prior R01, it was 14.9 percent. The award rate for MDs with a prior R01 was 23.3 percent; without a prior R01, it was 14.7 percent. The award rate for PhDs with a prior R01 was 24.9 percent; without prior R01 it was 13.3 percent (p<0.001 for all three groups). See Figures 3.24 through 3.26 for graphic illustrations of these findings. Figure 3.24. Award Rate of Individual NIH R01 Applicants, MD Degree (FY1999-2012) Figure 3.25. Award Rate of Individual NIH R01 Applicants, MD/PhD Degree (FY1999-2012) Figure 3.26. Award Rate of Individual NIH R01 Applicants, PhD Degree (FY1999-2012)

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