Findings of a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) commissioned study to investigate gaps in NIH grant success rates among various racial and ethnic groups have been published in the Aug 19 issue of Science. The study reported that even after controlling for education, institution, and other factors that influence the likelihood of success, black investigators were still 10 percentage points less likely than white investigators to receive a new research project grant. Dr. Lawrence Collins, Director of the NIH, and Lawrence Tabak, NIH Principal Deputy Director, have pledged to remedy that with a thorough investigation of ways to improve the peer review process, encourage greater diversity on review boards, increase technical assistance to applicants in grant preparation, and support innovative ways to increase local mentoring of junior faculty. As they say in their commentary “Troubling data such as these require substantive action. Compelling evidence supports the view that diversiﬁcation of the research workforce is an imperative for our nation’s continued success”. They call upon every institution and scientist supported by NIH to join in reinvigorating efforts to diversify the nation’s current and future biomedical research workforce.
The study can be downloaded here
Lawrence Tabak and Francis Collins Commentary on the study can be downloaded here.
News article about the study can be downloaded here