New vs. renewal applications: Which are more likely to be funded?

With NIH’s interest in supporting junior scientists trying to get their first grants, other investigators are wondering if it’s more difficult to get their grants renewed than to get one in the first place. The NIH looked into the matter by gathering data on R01-equivalent success rates for new and experienced investigators seeking funding in FY 2013 through 2015.  In his most recent Open Mike blog post, Deputy Director for Extramural Research Michael Lauer reported on the NIH’s findings.

As shown in the graph below, new investigators were almost as successful as experienced investigators in obtaining new awards, but the difference between new and experienced investigator success rates widened for competing renewals. Success rates of new investigators’ first renewals were lower than those of experienced investigators, particularly for second and third continuation.

Source: Open Mike post, Feb. 16, 2016

Source: Open Mike post, Feb. 16, 2016

In summary, the results showed renewal applications have higher success rates than new applications, and this is true for both new and experienced investigators. Additional source data can be found here.

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About the Author

Julie Rogers is Research Development Associate in the Office of Research Funding & Development Services.

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