June 14, 2018
The decision to fund or not to fund a particular application is based on the assessment of scientific merit by a peer review group and on the relevance of the proposed work to the Institute's scientific and health priorities. Peer reviewers' judgments of scientific merit are expressed in "priority scores" and in percentile rankings derived from these priority scores. At any point in a given fiscal year, budgetary projections are based on awarding funds to applications with rankings better than a certain percentile, sometimes referred to as the "payline." However, applications that address subjects of particular relevance to the Institute's scientific and health priorities may be considered for awards even if their assigned scores and percentile rankings would not qualify for funding under the current payline. Normally, a small portion of each year's budget is reserved for such "discretionary" or "select pay" awards. Projects to be funded on this basis are recommended by Institute staff and/or Advisory Council members. Applicants may not apply for select pay consideration. Final decisions are made by the Director, NIAMS, following staff discussion.
In FY 2017, the payline for competing R01 applications extended through the percentile of 13.0. For competing R01 applications from new and early-stage investigators, the payline extended through the percentile of 20.0. The success rate for all R01 applications (the number of awards divided by the number of applications) was 17.0 percent.
The charts and table below summarize the overall funding patterns for R01 applications. Only applications that received a percentile ranking are included. When an amended application is considered in the same fiscal year as the original, only the most recent submission is counted.
Funding Patterns for R01 applications:
Figure 1 summarizes the number of R01 applications received and grants funded at each percentile, among all investigators.
Figure 1 — R01 Applications from All Investigators
Figure 1 includes data from all categories of investigators: experienced investigators who have had NIH grants in the past, new investigators who previously have not had a substantial independent NIH award, and early-stage investigators who are within 10 years of completing their training and have not had a previous NIH R01 (or R01-equivalent) grant.
The pattern is similar when applications from experienced and from new and early-stage investigators are analyzed separately (Figures 2 and 3).