The National Institute of Health is the leading funding source for medical and biological sciences in the United States. The current NIH's yearly budget is a little over $33 billion dollars, and most of it is directed towards funding medical researches across the country.
NIH funds multiple initiatives that are focused on advancing the understanding and exploration of rare illnesses and speeding up development of new treatments. The NIH funded researches and initiatives are an engine for medical and economic progress. UMR shares that NIH funded research supported $64.8B ecom=nomically and nearly 380k jobs in the FY2016 (1). NIH awards per State can be found here (2)
The NIH awards are used to fund grants at various research institutions in the United States. for numerous disease and health conditions, vaccine and drug development and much more. These medical advances benefit everyone around the world, not just the U.S. The NIH funded researches have helped find better treatments, prevention, and understanding of serious common diseases that cause epidemic worldwide.
Other than directly funding research projects, the NIH grants facilitate training of the next generation doctors and researchers. Thousands of researchers and academicians have been able to advance their academic and career goals thanks to various mechanisms of NIH funding.
The impact and benefits of NIH on Health
• Americans are living healthier and longer lives: life expectancy of an average American had increased by 8 years and the death rate has reduced by 43% from 1969 to 2016.
• Babies are now Being Born Healthier: child mortality has reduced by over 80% since the 1960s.
• Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Stroke are less deadly today compared to the 1970s.
• Advances in Treating and Preventing Cancer: cancer-related deaths have declined by over 26% from 1991 to today.
• A better understanding of drug abuse and addiction: NIH funded researches in the last 30 years or so have revealed more about the mechanisms and risks that lead to drug abuse and addiction, leading to the development of new prevention approaches.
The above list is just a sneak peek of the numerous benefits of NIH RO1 grants. NIH grants awarded to the private sector have led to new medical innovations and technologies we see in the market today. Some of these innovations and projects that have been funded by NIH include;
• Bose Hearphones – These are Conversation-Enhancing and Noise Cancelling Headphones designed to help users focus on voices they want to hear and filter out background noises. The earphones let you engage better in a noisy place –be it a coffee shop, restaurant and noisy party (3).
• Research on induced labor for full-term pregnancy: This nation-wide study was led by Dr. William Grobman to study the benefits and risks of women choosing to be induced at 39 weeks instead of waiting for full-term and natural delivery. The study found that pregnancy induction at full term doesn't increase chances of developing major complications (4)
• Cell-based Phenotypic Testing Technology by Biolog: Biolog applied and received funding from NIH among other institutions to pursue research and development of a Phenotype MicroArray technology. The technology is used to scan the cell physiology and allow researchers to see how cell functions change when certain parameters are altered. The technology is currently being used by research labs in different fields such as cancer, infectious disease, and neuroscience (5)
While the NIH grants bring all these benefits to academicians, researchers, private companies and individuals, NIH has been facing a declining ability to fund research projects over the years. The NIH lost 22% funding capacity during the fiscal year 2003 to 2015 due to sequestration, budget cuts, and inflationary losses (6).
This is happening when the number of grant applications is at all times high and the NIH cannot fund as much as it would like to. The end result is high competition for the little available resources by the researchers and scientists, and an increase in grant application rejection rate. The overall impact of fewer grants is reduced innovation and discoveries, as talented scientists leave research and startups fail.
Why you should write a high-quality NIH Grant Proposal
Difficulties with grant application success in recent years due to competitive markets, declining funds, and low acceptance rates have made writing an outstanding, high-quality grant proposal more important than ever before. As an applicant, you need to set out your proposal such that you hit all the important points of consideration and maximize your chances of success.
If you're new to this, your grant application proposal needs to follow a specific study protocol and tell a compelling story. Before presenting it to the grant reviewers, you need to have it reviewed internally by your senior colleagues or mentors. Check out this detailed guide on How to Write a Successful biomedical Grant Application for more on this.
Grant proposal writing can be quite daunting especially with the current increased competition and reduced acceptance rate. If you're having trouble putting together a sound and watertight grant proposal, you can always seek help from a professional Grant Writing Service. The experts will help you refine your research idea, follow all the required protocols and present your application in a way that captures the attention of the grant application reviewers.