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Point of View: The NIH must reduce disparities in funding to maximize its return on investments from taxpayers

  1. Wayne P Wahls  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e34965 doi: 10.7554/eLife.34965


New data from the NIH reveal that the scientific return on its sponsored research reaches a maximum at around $400,000 of annual support per principal investigator. We discuss the implications of this 'sweet spot' for funding policy, and propose that the NIH should limit both the minimum and maximum amount of funding per researcher.

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Author details

  1. Wayne P Wahls

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1338-1610


No external funding was received for this work

Reviewing Editor

  1. Peter A Rodgers, eLife, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: January 10, 2018
  2. Accepted: March 21, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 23, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 3, 2018 (version 2)


© 2018, Wahls

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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  1. Edited by Peter A Rodgers

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