Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health


Director's Update

A Message from the Director — June 2013

Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D.
This year has brought new challenges in supporting the many highly meritorious research proposals that NIBIB receives. In addition to the 5.7% reduction in appropriated funds imposed by sequestration and other mandates, NIBIB has faced an additional challenge that is a consequence of fundamentally good news. Since 2009, each year the community of investigators that NIBIB supports has submitted an increasing number of highly competitive applications. Specifically, over the last four years, the number of applications assigned to NIBIB that have scored within the 10th percentile has increased by over 80% (133 in 2013 vs. 73 in 2009).
This increase in strong grant applications underscores the growth in the importance of the research being conducted and proposed by our community. The substantial year-after-year growth in the number of highly meritorious applications, coupled with the flat to slightly declining budget, accounts for the decrease in the NIBIB payline since 2009. The 9th percentile payline (14th percentile for new investigators) this year, is down from the 19th percentile just four years ago. This undesirable impact on our payline also tells the story of the growth of our scientific community and the increasing value being brought to the nation’s biomedical research effort. 
Line graph showing the cumulative count of R01 and R21 percentiled applications from the 1st to 25th percentile for years 2009-2013.

In 2009 (bottom-most line), 73 applications assigned to NIBIB scored within the 10th percentile, whereas in 2013 (top-most line), 133 applications achieved the same percentile.

I hope this provides an improved understanding of the increased constraints we are operating under. Please be assured that our dedicated team at NIBIB is working continuously to optimize support for the highly impactful research you are conducting.
Roderic I. Pettigrew, PhD, MD
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering