Customer Satisfaction and Research Involvement Among Applicants for NIH R01 and R29 Grants

This report was prepared by the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and depicts a stratified random sample of 2,694 individuals who had applied to the NIH for an R01 or R29 grant in 1994. These applicants were surveyed to assess their satisfaction with the NIH's grant application and review process. Over 78 percent of respondents held PhDs or other research doctorates, the majority of which were in the biomedical sciences. Ninety-three percent of the respondents were working full-time in academic institutions, and 54 percent had received some type of NIH research funding by June 1997. Based on their experiences in applying for NIH grants since 1994, about 41 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the handling of their application to the NIH, 35 percent expressed mixed feelings, and 24 percent were dissatisfied. Not surprisingly, unfunded applicants showed greater dissatisfaction with the overall application and review process than funded applicants. The appropriateness of the scientific review group yielded the highest percentage of satisfied responses (47 percent) and timely receipt of the 'pink sheet' and notification of the NIH's funding decision elicited the strongest reactions from applicants. Approximately 54 percent of the applicants offered observations and suggestions for improvement that included: (1) modification of forms and submission practices; (2) increased use of electronic submissions and availability of forms in word processing formats; (3) shortened length of the application and reduction of the amount of information required; (4) use of more expert reviewers; (5) reduction of the length of time between application submission and the receipt of funding.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of the Director

FEDERAL CONTACT: Schaffer, Dr. Walter
301-435-2770

PIC ID: 6280

PERFORMER: Macro International, Inc.
Calverton, MD

Interagency Working Group Pilot to Assess the Feasibility of Developing and Maintaining an Inventory of Cancer-related Research Across the Federal Government

This project originally involved the design and pilot-test of a process for developing an inventory of cancer-related research activities across federal agencies. The goal was to assess both the feasibility and usefulness of developing the inventory. Anticipated benefits were the possibility for improved utilization and coordination of resources and the means to identify opportunities for collaborations and promising areas of research. In the course of assessing the availability of existing database information systems for cancer research, the project learned of a database under development for the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy. Known as RaDiUS, this data system is intended to be a comprehensive source of basic information on all research and development supported by the U.S. government. The project shifted direction to evaluate RaDiUS in terms of its success in its ability to identify a comprehensive set of relevant project records within specific cancer research areas (lung cancer, cancer and genetics). The accuracy and completeness of data supplied by RaDiUS within identified project records was also evaluated. RaDiUS data were compared to data acquired directly from several agencies to evaluate accuracy and comprehensiveness. Overall, findings of the research indicate that RaDiUS is currently the most comprehensive database available that lists U.S. Federal R&D efforts, and is a potentially useful tool in identifying cancer research across the Federal government.

AGENCY SPONSOR: National Cancer Institute

FEDERAL CONTACT: Middleswarth, Anne
301-496-5515

PIC ID: 6091

PERFORMER: NOVA Research Company
Bethesda MD