SUMMARYDuring fiscal year 2014, the NCI awarded 1,207 competing Research Project Grants (RPGs), resulting in an overall success rate of 14%. NCI funded most R01 and R21 applications with scores up to and including the 9th percentile. The R03 and R15 applications with impact scores up to and including a score of 25 were funded. Applications with higher scores that NCI funded were reviewed by NCI Divisions and NCI's Scientific Program Leaders before they were approved for funding. The graphs that appear below summarize the overall funding patterns for R01s and R21s across various categories of investigators.
- - FY 2014 R01
- - FY 2014 R21
- - Table 1: Fiscal Year 2014: Success Rates (unsolicited R01's and R21's)
- - Table 2: All Competing Research Project Grants
Funding Patterns for R01 Applications
The graph in Figure 1 summarizes the number of R01 applications received and grants funded at each percentile, among all investigators. As is evident, the number of grants funded decreased in direct proportion to the percentile ranking. Nevertheless, 34% of the grants funded had rankings beyond the 9th percentile.
Similar displays are shown below for experienced investigators (applicants who have received a prior RPG and were applying for a new grant or a competitive renewal; Figure 2); new investigators (applicants who have never received an RPG; Figure 3); and early stage investigators (new investigators within 10 years of receiving their highest degree; Figure 4). Similar patterns are observed in all cases, although success rates are not plotted for new and early stage investigators in view of the small numbers of applications at each percentile score. For Success Rate comparisons, refer to Tables 1 and 2 below.
NCI FY2014: "Percentiled" R01 Applications, Awards and Success Rates
Figure 1: All Investigators: Experienced, New and Early Stage
NCI FY2014 Competing R01 Applications and Awards
Figure 3: New Investigators (Includes Early Stage Investigators)
Figures 1-4: Excludes applications that did not receive a percentile ranking. When an amended application is considered in the same fiscal year as the original, only the one with the better ranking is counted.
Funding Patterns for R21 Applications
The funding patterns for R21 grant applications are significantly different from those of R01 grants. The patterns are explained by the fact that NCI receives a disproportionate number of applications relative to the number of R21 grants that can be funded (see Table 1). 22% of the grants funded had rankings beyond the 9th percentile.
In contrast to R01 funding patterns, success rates for R21 funding of applications from new investigators are notably lower than for established investigators (9% versus 15% success rates, respectively) (Table 1). Furthermore, whereas the R01 success rate for new investigators is 13%, it is 9% for R21s. This disparity results from the fact that R01 applications from new investigators are given preferential consideration.
Similar displays are shown below for experienced investigators (applicants who have received a prior RPG; Figure 6) and new investigators (applicants who have never received an RPG; Figure 7). The NIH does not report the R21 grants in terms of experienced and new investigators. The NCI was able to apply the R01 rules to the R21 grants to extract and generate the data that distinguishes the two groups. For Success Rate comparisons, refer to Tables 1 and 2 below.
NCI FY2014: R21 Applications, Awards and Success Rates
Figure 5: All Investigators: Experienced, New and Early Stage
NCI FY2014 Competing R21 Applications and Awards
Figure 7: New Investigators (Includes Early Stage Investigators)
Figures 5-8: Excludes applications that did not receive a percentile ranking. When an amended application is considered in the same fiscal year as the original, only the one with the better ranking is counted.
Table 1: Fiscal Year 2014: Success Rates (unsolicited R01's and R21's)
|Total Applications||Number With Percentiles
|Number With Percentiles
|R01 - All Investigators||3,840||950||422||574||15%|
|Experienced Investigators - Total||2,696||721||317||430||16%|
|New Investigators - Total*||1,144||229||105||144||13%|
|Early Stage New Investigators**||469||126||63||89||19%|
|R21 - All Investigators||2,539||688||263||302||12%|
|New Investigators - Total*||1,359||277||102||122||9%|
|Early Stage New Investigators**||314||65||27||33||11%|
Total applications include all new and competing renewals that received a percentile, those with just an impact score as well as triaged or not recommended for funding.
Funded R01s exclude competing board supplements
When an amended application is considered in the same fiscal year as the original, only the one with the better percentile is counted. NCI funded an additional 327 grants for a total of 1,207 competing Research Projects. The other mechanisms were Program Projects, Small Grants, Requests for Applications, Cooperative Agreements and other funding mechanisms not included.
* Includes Early Stage Investigators
** Included in New Investigators
Table 2: All Competing Research Project Grants
|FY 2014||FY 2013||FY 2012||FY 2011|
|Funded||Success Rate||Funded||Success Rate||Funded||Success Rate||Funded||Success Rate|
|R01 - Unsolicited*||578||15%||582||15%||620||15%||655||15%|
|R21 - Unsolicited||302||12%||241||10%||200||11%||223||10%|
|Total Competing RPGs:||1,207||14%||1,095||14%||1,085||14%||1,106||14%|
* Funded R01s include competing board supplements.
** Other RFAs include UM1, R33, U01 and UH2.
*** Other RPGs include R15, R37, P01, U01, U19, UM1 and DP2.
 The success rate is the percentage of applications received that are funded. It is calculated by dividing the number of funded grants by the number of applications received. When an amended application is considered in the same fiscal year as the original, only the one with the better score is counted in the number of applications received.
 A percentile is a score that ranks competing applications against others in the same study section in the past year. It is intended to allow a comparison of impact scores3 of applications across all study sections.
 The impact score is given by each individual scientific reviewer's assessment of the scored criteria plus additional criteria regarding the protection and inclusion of human subjects; vertebrate animal care and welfare; biohazards, and criteria specific to the funding opportunity and is based on the overall impact that the project is likely to have on the research field(s) involved.