More Research Money for MDs

Principal investigators with medical training have a slightly higher NIH funding rate than those with just a PhD.

Cristina Luiggi
May 1, 2012

FLICKR, 401K

Researchers with medical degrees find it slightly easier to obtain government funding than traditional PhD investigators, according to a blog post written by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) deputy director for extramural research, Sally Rockey. After going over 13 years’ worth of NIH funding data (from 1998 to 2011), Rockey found that funding rates of principal investigators (PIs) holding MD or MD/PhDs, who represent around 30 percent of all NIH-funded PIs, are slightly higher than funding rates of PIs without medical training.

“There is a difference, but it is modest,” Rockey wrote in her blog Rock Talk, adding that she plans to look at how these funding rates vary by institution type.

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