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New study spotlights National Institutes of Health grant outcomes for clinical research
Date:7/25/2008

Although the need to translate basic science discoveries into the clinical arena is widely acknowledged, a new study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) identified reasons why clinical science grant applications receive less positive peer reviews than basic science grant applications to the NIH. The findings were published in the July issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

In collaboration with Michael R. Martin, Ph.D., and Teresa Lindqusit, MS, at NIH's Center for Scientific Review CSR), Dr. Theodore Kotchen, associate dean for clinical research and professor of medicine at the Medical College, studied 92,922 grant applications submitted to NIH between October 2000 and May 2004. Of that number, 67.5 percent were considered basic science applications and 32.5 percent were considered clinical applications. Dr. Kotchen is special advisor on clinical research to the NIH's CSR.

They found that investigators conducting clinical research were less likely to submit a continuing, competitive renewal grant application than investigators conducting basic research (20.0% vs. 28.3%). However, renewal applications generally receive more favorable reviews than new applications. The study concluded that approximately one-half of the observed differences in peer review outcomes for clinical versus basic research applications can be attributed to the lower rate of resubmission by clinical applicants.

Another reason for differences in review outcomes was related to applicants failing to adequately address human subject concerns in their applications. Human subject concerns, which the NIH defines as any potential or actual unacceptable risk or inadequate protection against risks to human subjects, were identified in 15% of clinical grant applications.

"Applications cited for having human subject concerns do not necessarily mean that the science is less meritori
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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-456-4744
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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