Steps Toward Equity at NIMH: An Update – Methods
The analyses presented in the Director’s Message, “Steps Toward Equity at NIMH: An Update,” include R01-equivalent grants, other Research Project Grants (RPGs), Cooperative Agreements and Center Grants, and Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants. Training (training-related, fellowship and career development, Loan Repayment Program), the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative, Common Fund, NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative (NIH HEAL InitiativeSM), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), supplements, Resource Access Mechanism, and other activity codes (such as R13, SB1, SC1, SC2) were excluded from analysis. Both new applications and continuations, as defined in this NIH document , were included for analysis. Applicants self-reported their gender, race, and ethnicity when submitting their applications.
For considerations relating to confidentiality, data security, and reporting, see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/collection-of-personal-demographic-data.htm and https://era.nih.gov/privacy-act-and-era.htm .
Figure 1. Application Review Process: Applications received, discussed, scored, awarded, and resubmitted that supported at least 1 Black PI and no Black applicants, 2008-2019. The percentage of applications that moved from one phase of the review process to the next is shown for those applications administered by NIMH supporting at least 1 Black PI and supporting no Black PIs. Applications with no information on race were excluded from this analysis (N=2,924). An impact score of 35 was chosen for the purpose of this analysis to identify those applications most likely to be considered for award, where the final overall impact scores range from 10 (high impact) through 90 (low impact). “OTH” represents those applications with no impact score or an impact score in a retired format. Less than 1% of applications that were not discussed received scores; for the sake of readability, these are not shown. For more information about peer review criteria and application scoring, please see the NIH page on peer review .
Figure 2. NIMH funding rate among applications supporting white PIs and Black PIs, 2011-2020. Bars are standard errors of the funding rate reflecting statistical uncertainty. Smoothed curves reflect a weighted moving average using Loess regression. As described in the NIH Data Book , “[f]unding rate is a person-based statistic that is calculated by the number of distinct funded investigators divided by the number of distinct funded and unfunded investigators in a given fiscal year, excluding applications withdrawn prior to review.”