09 Oct NIH '05 funding: Midwest has two states in Top 10
One barometer of research and development in the United States is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) annual list of spending in grant money by states. The NIH’s annual budget, some $28 billion, not only funds research activities in its own institutions in the Washington, D.C./Maryland area, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – in fact there are 27 different institutions – but funds many universities and research institutions around the country to the tune of about $23 billion per year through extramural almost 54,000 annual grants.
The total NIH budget has gone up in recent years from $20.5 billion in 2001 to $28.6 billion in 2005, but 2005 was only two percent over 2004 ($28 billion), and has been under a lot of budgetary pressure. How do such cutbacks impact funding at the state level? Well, it is a little difficult to see on a first-cut analysis. Part of the reason is that, although there is an annual cycle of applications for new research grants, a number of the grants are for multiple years of research.
Nevertheless, the absolute amounts of funding, as well as the changes in annual funding levels, are indicators of research shifts within the U.S.
To be fair, the NIH is not the only government institution providing research dollars to universities and other research organizations, although it is clearly the largest. Some of the other large sources of research money are: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (with each of the Armed Forces having their own budgets), the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, etc.
There are also state governments that provide research funds. The analysis below ONLY focuses on NIH funding, and as such does not represent a complete picture of all the funding that might take place in a university or research institution. However, because of the sheer size of NIH funding, it is a barometer worth using as an indicator of which states are benefiting most from such largesse.
Note also that NIH funding is a peer-reviewed process, meaning that the ability to win a grant undergoes substantial scientific scrutiny by other knowledgeable scientists and researchers in a given field. There are many more grants applied for than receive funding, and the scoring of a grant (and accompanying comments) is an indicator of what peers thought of the grant research.
California – the 800-pound research gorilla
California has been the research capital, and the number one recipient of NIH funding for a number of years, and receives in total over $3 billion per year in research funding in almost 7,500 grants. Nevertheless, California’s NIH funding fell by eight percent in 2005 versus the prior year. California had more grants won in 2005, 7,460 versus 7,363, or an increase of one percent, but the amount of money per grant fell.
The top seven states for funding all had over $1 billion per year each, with the top three states getting more than $2 billion per year each: California, Massachusetts, and New York. Massachusetts’ funding for 2005 was flat, and New York’s was up three percent, but the major beneficiary was number four, Maryland, which showed a 25 percent increase in funding to reach about $1.8 billion.
Maryland is strategically located near the heart of Washington politics and many of the NIH and other government research agencies, but Maryland also has some top research universities, including Johns Hopkins, the number one in the country, and the University of Maryland.
The Midwest: A competitive force
A logical question is how did the Midwest fare in these results? Well, there is good news and bad news.
The Midwest had two states in the top 10 listing: Illinois and Ohio. The Midwest had six states among the top 20 states!
The other good news is that four of the six Midwest states in the top 20 had increases in their annual funding levels, with Illinois leading the pack with a six percent increase – not spectacular but by no means shabby!
The bad news was that if you add up all of the results of the six Midwestern states, the total funding was about $3.3 billion, or just about the size of California.
The other bad news was that two key R&D states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, had declines in their NIH funding of about one percent each.
Let’s take a look at the NIH funding results for 2005:
NIH State Funding Results (Extramural Awards) – 2005
|State||2005 Grants $ Millions||2004 Grants$ Millions||%Change||2005 Grants||Amount/Grant($’000)|
|1. California||$ 3,301.2||$3,619.6||<8%>||7,460||$443|
|2. Massachusetts||$ 2,272.8||$2,265.9||0%||5,193||$438|
|3. New York||$ 2,020.9||$1,964.9||+3%||4,896||$413|
|4. Maryland||$ 1,764.3||$1,415.9||+25%||2,593||$680|
|5. Pennsylvania||$ 1,452.2||$1,394.5||+4%||3,585||$405|
|6. Texas||$ 1,150.0||$1,148.0||0%||2,830||$406|
|7. North Carolina||$ 1,078.4||$ 985.4||+9%||2,209||$488|
|8. Washington||$ 812.7||$ 815.3||0%||1,633||$498|
|9. Illinois||$ 733.9||$ 689.7||+6%||1,972||$372|
|10. Ohio||$ 717.0||$ 691.5||+4%||1,844||$389|
|11. Michigan||$ 564.3||$ 552.4||+2%||1,543||$366|
|12. Missouri||$ 511.7||$ 496.7||+3%||1,201||$426|
|13. Connecticut||$ 458.5||$ 445.2||+3%||1,217||$377|
|14. Virginia||$ 452.0||$ 450.2||0%||981||$461|
|15. Minnesota||$ 441.8||$ 447.0||<1%>||1,030||$429|
|16. Tennessee||$ 434.6||$ 410.6||+6%||1,059||$410|
|17. Wisconsin||$ 387.7||$ 391.9||<1%>||995||$390|
|18. Georgia||$ 375.3||$ 372.2||+1%||1,007||$373|
|19. Florida||$ 372.4||$ 354.9||+5%||1,042||$357|
|20. Colorado||$ 346.7||$ 337.8||+3%||986||$352|
Source: NIH website
Perhaps another piece of bad news for the Midwest is that the average grant size in each of the Midwest states is lower than the average NIH grant for 2005, $430,000. Additionally, the average Midwest grant is about $70,000 to $80,000 less than the average California grant. None of the Midwest states were able to beat either the national average or get anywhere near California’s average grant size.
Now, I am not an expert on NIH funding and grants by any means, but this may mean that the Midwest mix of NIH funding is for earlier stage research, which usually gets lower levels of funding. Clinical stage funding is usually much higher, and represents more mature product development, and it may be that the Midwest’s mix may be less clinical than some of the other states. Again, this is just my interpretation, but I welcome comments from those more knowledgeable than I in this area.
In the next article, we will look at NIH funding by university, which may provide us some more insight.
See you soon!
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The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC, accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.