January 06, 2020

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 selected by the Director, NIAMS, following staff discussion.

In FY 2018, the payline for competing R01 applications extended through the percentile of 13.0. For competing R01 applications from early stage investigators, the payline extended through the percentile of 22.0. The success rate for all R01 applications (the number of awards divided by the number of applications) was 17.3 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.

Figure 1 summarizes the number of R01 applications received and grants funded at each percentile, among all investigators.

Funding Patterns for R01 applications:

Figure 1 — R01 Applications from All Investigators

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.

Figures 2 and 3 show data from experienced and early stage investigators analyzed separately.

Figure 2 — R01 Applications from Experienced Investigators 

R01 Applications from Experienced Investigators

Figure 3 — R01 Applications from Early Stage Investigators

R01 Applications from Early Stage Investigators


Last Updated: January 2020