Politics, Budgets, and NIH Funding for New Investigators

This post gets into the weeds discussing funding for biomedical research in the US. I want to discuss historical funding trends, changes in NIH policy, the relationship between politics and funding research, and ask whether “peer review” is truly unbiased.

New R01s for Established (blue) and New (yellow) Investigators (top) over time. Fitted linear lines with 95% confident intervals are also plotted. Proportion of new R01 applications that are awarded to New Investigators (blue, bottom). Noted on the timeline are Government Shutdowns (green dashed), NIH New Investigator Policy changes (solid), NIH budget doubling period (magenta dashed), and the Budget Control Act (Sequestration).

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Advanced Teaching Laboratory – Role play style

Several months ago, I posted that I would create an advanced undergraduate laboratory, for example in microbiology to teach experimental design and stats analysis principles to students. I made some progress on this project and wanted to share the outline / proposal. This work, though, is a labor of love. I can’t implement it in my current position, but would need to score an appointment with a teaching role. I am just a research assistant professor in a School of Medicine; writing grants and publishing papers. The concepts and principles could be adapted for any life sciences discipline like molecular biology, physiology, immunology (that would seriously be fun, honestly!), or entomology (even more fun but unlikely). I’m embedding the outline below and here is a link to the full working document, which is a lab manual. I’ll update it as the chapters fill out. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to implement my plans. Happy Autumn.