Project Selection in NIH: A Natural Experiment from ARRA

Published on Jul 1, 2015in Research Policy
· DOI :10.1016/j.respol.2015.03.004
Hyunwoo Park10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Georgia Institute of Technology),
Jeongsik Lee8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Drexel University),
Byung-Cheol Kim7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Using a natural experiment in research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, we study the NIH's revealed preference in project selection. We do so by comparing the characteristics of the projects additionally selected for funding due to an unexpected increase in resources under the ARRA with those supported through regular NIH budget. We find that the regular-funded projects are on average of higher quality, as measured by the number of publications per project and the impact of these publications, than ARRA-funded projects. Moreover, compared to ARRA projects, regular projects are more likely to produce highest-impact articles and exhibit greater variance in research output. The output from regular projects also seems more closely fitting the purpose of funding. The differences in project quality are largely explained by observable attributes of the projects and research teams, suggesting that the NIH may use these attributes as cues for discerning underlying project quality. In addition, ARRA projects are more likely than regular projects to involve investigators with past grant experience. Many of these inter-group differences are specific to R01 grants, the largest funding category in the NIH. Overall, these results suggest that the NIH's project selection appears generally in line with its purported mission. In particular, our results contrast starkly with the frequent criticism that the NIH is extremely risk-averse and unwarrantedly favors experienced investigators. We discuss the implications of our findings on the NIH's behavior in project selection.
  • References (37)
  • Citations (8)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
3 Authors (Jürgen Janger, ..., Anna Strauss)
2 Citations
2 Authors (Lucas C. Parra, ..., Lukas Hirsch)
1 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
4 CitationsSource
The failure of Congress and the President to agree on a deficit-reduction plan is triggering $85 billion in cuts in federal agencies and programs that will curtail many important government functions and activities affecting the health sector and Americans' health.
14 CitationsSource
Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the US National Institutes of Health, reflects on the second anniversary of her precedent-setting blog.
2 CitationsSource
Too many US authors of the most innovative and influential papers in the life sciences do not receive NIH funding, contend Joshua M. Nicholson and John P. A. Ioannidis.
73 CitationsSource
#1José Miguel Benavente H. (UAI: Adolfo Ibáñez University)H-Index: 13
#2Gustavo Crespi T. (BID: Inter-American Development Bank)H-Index: 20
Last. Alessandro Maffioli (BID: Inter-American Development Bank)H-Index: 13
view all 4 authors...
This paper analyses the role of national research funds in promoting scientific production in emerging economies. The study focuses on the impact of the Chilean National Science and Technology Research Fund (FONDECYT). The analysis uses data drawn from international sources of bibliometric information combined with the administrative records of the program's executing unit. To measure the program's impact, we implement a regression discontinuity (RD) design on principal researchers who applied f...
26 CitationsSource
#1Daniel J. Wilson (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)H-Index: 19
This paper estimates the “jobs multiplier” of fiscal spending using the state-level allocations of federal stimulus funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Specifically, I estimate the relationship between state-level federal ARRA spending and state employment outcomes from the time the Act was passed (February 2009) through the latest month of data (currently May 2010). Because actual state allocations of stimulus spending may be endogenous with respect to state econo...
128 CitationsSource
#2Laura Feiveson (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 1
Last. William A Woolston (Stanford University)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 included $88 billion of aid to state governments administered through the Medicaid reimbursement process. We examine the effect of these transfers on states' employment. Because state fiscal relief outlays are endogenous to a state's economic environment, OLS results are biased downward. We address this problem by using a state's prerecession Medicaid spending level to instrument for ARRA state fiscal relief. In our preferred specificatio...
121 CitationsSource
#1Henry R. Bourne (UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)H-Index: 84
#2Mark O. Lively (Wake Forest University)H-Index: 24
A century ago, the unsinkable Titanic charged into a moonless night, full steam ahead. Today, unless it changes course to escape its own icebergs, the U.S. biomedical research enterprise hurtles toward a similar doom. The fiscal year 2012 budget of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) buys 18% less research than in 2004. On 2 January 2013, budget sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 could reduce NIH extramural funds still further, producing a staggering cumulative 41%...
7 CitationsSource
#1Pierre Azoulay (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 20
#2Joshua Graff Zivin (NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research)H-Index: 33
Last. Gustavo Manso (University of California, Berkeley)H-Index: 16
view all 3 authors...
The National Institute of Health (NIH), through its extramural grant program, is the primary public funder of health-related research in the United States. Peer review at NIH is organized around the twin principles of investigator initiation and rigorous peer review, and this combination has long been a model that science funding agencies throughout the world seek to emulate. However, lean budgets and the rapidly changing ecosystem within which scientific inquiry takes place have led many to ask...
2 Citations
Is the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) turning down deserving research proposals because of potential biases in the grant-review process? The answer may be yes, if preliminary findings of an experiment being conducted by NSF officials hold up. But the officials caution against drawing any firm conclusions from what they acknowledge is limited data.
8 CitationsSource
Cited By8
#1Albert Guangzhou Hu (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 17
Abstract We investigate the role of public funding in the rapid ascent of Chinese science by examining the impact of a major upgrade of a funding program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2011. Using research grant level data and a difference-in-differences estimator, we found that the more generous funding resulted in higher research output, measured by the number of publications, the number of citation-weighted publications, the number of journal impact factor-adjusted pub...
ABSTRACTDespite growing government financial support for scientific development, our understanding of the effect of funding practices on scientific performance is limited. This study investigates t...
#1Mehdi Toloo (University of Economics, Prague)H-Index: 19
#2Mahnaz Mirbolouki (Technical University of Ostrava)
Last. Mahnaz Mirbolouki (Technical University of Ostrava)
view all 2 authors...
Abstract The project selection problem plays a vital role in an organization to successfully attain its competitive advantages and corporate strategies. The problem is more exacerbated and compounded if the decision-maker takes the limitation of resources into consideration. As a matter of fact, the project selection problem deals with opting a set of best feasible proposals from a large pool of proposals with making the best use of available resources. It is assumed that each proposal employs v...
#1Daekook KangH-Index: 5
#2Wooseok JangH-Index: 4
Last. Jeonghwan JeonH-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
As the Korean government expands the budget for national research and development, the need for an institute that deliberates, coordinates, and operates research development and its budget has increased. In response to these demands, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was recently established. However, to achieve a creative economy, which is the economic system where value is based on novel imaginative qualities rather than the traditional resources of land, labor, and capital, m...
1 CitationsSource
#1Hoon Jang (Science and Technology Policy Institute)H-Index: 6
Abstract Considering that government funding agencies make decisions on research and development (R&D) budget allocation to support an increasing number of research proposals, effective decision support systems are necessarily required. Motivated by the efforts of the Korean government, we propose a new decision support framework for allocating an R&D budget such that it maximizes the total expected R&D output. The proposed framework incorporates an R&D output prediction model with an optimizati...
3 CitationsSource
#1Laura P. Forsythe (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)H-Index: 15
#2Lori Frank (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)H-Index: 28
Last. Suzanne Schrandt (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)H-Index: 7
view all 8 authors...
Abstract Objective The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) uses a unique approach to Merit Review that includes patients and stakeholders as reviewers with scientists, and includes unique review criteria (patient-centeredness and active engagement of end users in the research). This study assessed the extent to which different reviewer types influence review scores and funding outcomes, the emphasis placed on technical merit compared to other criteria by a multistakeholder panel...
3 CitationsSource
#1Zeynep D. U. Durmusoglu (University of Gaziantep)H-Index: 5
Abstract Funding of techno-entrepreneurship projects has gained ground for the societies. Today, many governments support techno-entrepreneurship projects by using several policy tools such as incentives. Evaluating such projects is a very difficult task while a future perspective needs to be provided. In this paper, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) has been used to determine to factors that should be used in evaluating the techno-entrepreneurship projects. AHP model was set up based on the ex...
6 CitationsSource
#1Jian Wang (LEI: Leiden University)H-Index: 14
#2You-Na Lee (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 8
Last. John Walsii (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 30
view all 3 authors...
In many countries the scientific funding system is shifting from an internal block funding model toward a competitive project funding model. However, there is growing concern that the competitive project funding system favors relatively safe, conventional projects at the expense of risky, novel research. It is important to assess different funding models in order to design better funding systems for science. This paper empirically tests for differences in the novelty of funded outputs between in...
6 CitationsSource
#1Erjia Yan (Drexel University)H-Index: 22
#2Chaojiang Wu (Drexel University)H-Index: 5
Last. Min Song (Yonsei University)H-Index: 20
view all 3 authors...
This paper intends to illuminate the relationship between science funding and citation impact in seven STEMM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine). Using a regression model with Heckman bias correction, we find that funding has a positive, significant association with a paper’s citations in STEMM fields. Further analyses show that this association is magnified by the factors of multiple authorship and multiple institutions. For funded papers in STEM, multi-aut...
7 CitationsSource
#1Misha Teplitskiy (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 5
#2Von Bakanic (CofC: College of Charleston)H-Index: 2
The authors investigate how well peer reviews of articles published in the journal American Sociological Review between 1978 and 1982 predict the articles’ citation impact in the following 32 years. The authors find no evidence of a relationship between review outcomes and citation impact at any time after publication, even when citations are normalized by subfield. Qualitative analysis of the review texts rules out the interpretation that reviewers focused on potential impact but failed to pred...