Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Racial inequity in grant funding from the US National Institutes of Health
Biomedical science and federal funding for scientific research are not immune to the systemic racism that pervades American society. A groundbreaking analysis of NIH grant success revealed in 2011 that grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health in the US by African-American or Black Principal Investigators (PIs) are less likely to be funded than applications submitted by white PIs, and efforts to narrow this funding gap have not been successful. A follow-up study in 2019 showed that this has not changed. Here, we review those original reports, as well as the response of the NIH to these issues, which we argue has been inadequate. We also make recommendations on how the NIH can address racial disparities in grant funding and call on scientists to advocate for equity in federal grant funding.
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No external funding was received for this work.
- Peter Rodgers, eLife, United Kingdom
- Received: December 14, 2020
- Accepted: January 17, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: January 18, 2021 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: January 27, 2021 (version 2)
© 2021, Taffe and Gilpin
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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Research culture needs to be improved for the benefit of science and scientists.