Last year, the NIH funded fewer grants than it has for any year in the last nine years, and the average grant success rate -- 20.6 percent of reviewed grant applications funded among 26 institutions -- was the second lowest since 2000. Success rates are down from 21.8 percent in 2008 and only slightly higher than the 2006 ten-year low, when the NIH dispersed its funds out among only 20.0 percent of reviewed proposals.
In total, 8,881 grant applications were funded last year, down from 9,460 in 2008. The NIH dished out more than $3.7 billion to grant recipients, $125 million more than in 2008. This does not include the $4.35 billion distributed among more than 12,000 projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Eleven of the 26 institutes' award rates fell below 20 percent in 2009, while only three reached above 30 percent. Topping the list...

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