Impact of NHLBI-Supported Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research, 1998-2012
In a recent paper, Alberts et al. warned that the US-based biomedical science enterprise is flawed in its assumption that the enterprise will constantly expand, and it cannot expect a persistently expanding National Institutes of Health (NIH) biomedical research budget in the future1. In fact, as noted by multiple observers, the NIH budget has been declining in constant dollars since 2003, and the pay lines for grants are at historic lows1-4. Such realizations have led to calls for a re-examination of the policies and programs of the NIH and its individual Institutes and Centers1,2. Some have questioned the appropriateness of the allocation of research budgets between discovery science and translational science1,2,5. Others have argued for better methods to make funding decisions, suggesting that peer review is too conservative and limits innovation1,2,4,6,7, or simply does not demonstrate the ability to prioritize research proposals on their potential to yield high impact8,9. Evidence that scientists spend too much time writing and rewriting grant applications, stay too long in training programs, and achieve their first tenure track position or first NIH grant in their late thirties and early forties, respectively, suggest there is a mismatch in the supply and demand for scientists that must be addressed1,5,7.
- Received November 5, 2014.
- Revision received August 3, 2015.
- Accepted September 10, 2015.