” Many early career scientists are trapped in a research “Catch 22”. They can’t get the NIH R01 funding they need to establish a lab and launch an independent career because NIH reviewers say they don’t have the data to support their grant applications. Yet the preliminary data and proof that experiments will succeed is hard to come by without that very funding. Many of these young scientists are pursuing radically new approaches to medical challenges. Some of them, like Harvard University’s Rachelle Gaudet, are creating whole new fields of science. The data they need cannot be taken off the shelf. “
” Really exciting science is harder, takes more effort, and comes with more risk. Yet limited resources are forcing NIH review committees to be more conservative in their funding decisions…. The reviewers want to see proposals that are highly likely to succeed. They don’t want you to chase outlying ideas. “
— Text (p. 15) from: ” A Broken Pipeline? Flat Funding of the NIH Puts a Generation of Science at Risk: A Follow-Up Statement by a Group of Concerned Universities and Research Institutions ” (March 2008 )
A recent research report entitled A Broken Pipeline? Flat Funding of the NIH Puts a Generation of Science at Risk is highly critical of falling NIH research grant funding levels, and the subsequent impact this will have on scientific research, drug discovery and the careers of young and talented scientists.
Faculty and staff from the following academic-medical institutions of Brown University, Duke University, Harvard University, Ohio State University, Partners Healthcare, University of California-Los Angeles and Vanderbilt University wrote the 24-page document, available online, at no cost, from this website: http://www.brokenpipeline.org.
The 2008 report provides interviews of 12 young scientists and their current medical research projects, concluding that “scientific advances may be lost if NIH funding is not quickly restored to levels that overcome inflation”.
Read the press release describing the 2008 report here.
This report is a follow-up to one published in March 2007 entitled Within Our Grasp—Or Slipping Away? Assuring a New Era of Scientific and Medical Progress.
Here is a press release describing the 2007 report.
Also available on the BrokenPipeline site are transcripts of several authors on video and testimony from March 2008 Congressional hearings, which you can view by clicking here.