FY13 Funding Trends

In working on the book, I was disappointed that we could not get funding trend data for more ICs (10 of 24). Publishing the range of percentiles over which applications are scored versus funded allows applicants to see patterns of skipping awards at lower percentiles and how high an IC will go for select pay decisions. Even though seeing these charts does not affect the outcome of an individual application, some data are better than no data for overall mental health as well as application and career planning.

Here at MWEG, I have a page with links to available funding trend data, which I will update as new data show up at IC Websites.

Those with FY12 data online include NHLBI (success rate only), NIAAA (success rates only), NIAMS, NIGMS, and NINDS (NIAID has FY11 data). The book adds charts for NIA, NIDA, NIMH, and NIEHS (FY11 only). Success rate data (by IC, activity code, FY, etc.) can always be found at NIH RePORT.

FY13 funding trend data are now available from NCI and NIDDK.

NIDDK went down a couple points on its R01 payline (13/18 in FY12 down to 11/16 in FY13 for established/new-ESI), and they seem to be accommodating more new R01s at the expense of renewals and the amount spent per award. NIDDK covers all the award mechanisms and even breaks out Ks by activity code.

NCI focuses on R01s and R21s but does include some R03 and RFA data. Perhaps most interesting is the comparison of FY12 and FY13 success rate data:


  • —R01 unsolicited: 620 awards, 15% success rate
  • —R21 unsolicited: 200 awards, 11% success rate
  • —R03: 101 awards, 20% success rate
  • —RFAs: 88 awards, 9% success rate
  • —Total RPGs: 1085 awards, 14% success rate
  • —R01 unsolicited: 582 awards, 15% success rate
  • —R21 unsolicited: 241 awards, 10% success rate
  • —R03: 100 awards, 15% success rate
  • —RFAs: 82 awards, 16% success rate
  • —Total RPGs: 1095 awards, 14% success rate

Not sure whether the drop in RFA applications in FY13 is due to fewer RFAs issued or fewer applicants to the RFAs issued; it’s a little tricky to figure out by searching the Guide, since some RFAs have multiple receipt dates spanning FYs, and the Provocative Questions RFAs were broken out into 4 groups per activity code (so 8 FOAs covering same ground as 2 FOAs previously).

NCI also includes success rate data for new-ESI applicants for both the R01 and R21 activity codes. Only applicants to the R01 are given special consideration at review and award time, and the data confirm this: the success rate for new/ESI applicants to the R01 activity code was 12% (18% for ESI – compared with 13% for new applications from experienced PIs) versus 8% for R21s (experienced PIs stayed at 13%).


  1. Kashila said

    I am a new and early stage investigator and has a R01 scored 16% in NIDDK in the fiscal year 2014. I just heard the bad news from the PO who said that even my proposal is within the payline of 2014, it will not get funded because he thinks there are major concerns in the summary statement. Is that normal?

    • writedit said

      It is not common but also not entirely unusual for applications to be skipped due to concerns raised in the summary statement (you can see in the funding trend graphs that not all applications scoring within the funding range are funded). You could ask for an opportunity to address them, though I suspect your PO would have offered you the opportunity if the concerns were readily addressable (e.g., research subjects protection concerns that could be addressed without altering the study design). You should just talk with the PO if you do not understand why your application won’t be funded – but if he explained why, then, yes, while not “normal”, it does happen that good-scoring applications are not funded.

  2. Thank you so much for running this blog. I am very grateful for all the information over the years as I was moving up through the TT process. I was hoping you could share your thoughts on possible funding. I have an R21 (NCI) with 8th percentile; score 22. Haven’t received the statement yet. But do you think this may be fundable?

    • writedit said

      Yes. When you get your summary statement, you can contact your PO for confirmation, but unless there is an issue with the application, I imagine he/she will be cautiously optimistic.

  3. Matthias said

    Look here if you want to know past funding trends (how many grants of any kind were given out in the past):
    The trend is very clear. Every year less and less grants are given out. 2013 had 25,760 R01 grants vs. 26,600 R01s in 2000.

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