Patterns of Recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding to Diagnostic Radiology Departments

Analysis Using the NIH RePORTER System

      Rationale and Objectives

      This study aimed to characterize recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for diagnostic radiology departments at US medical schools.

      Materials and Methods

      This retrospective study did not use private identifiable information and thus did not constitute human subjects research. The public NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditure and Results system was used to extract information regarding 887 NIH awards in 2015 to departments of “Radiation-Diagnostic/Oncology.” Internet searches were conducted to identify each primary investigator (PI)'s university web page, which was used to identify the PI's departmental affiliation, gender, degree, and academic rank. A total of 649 awards to diagnostic radiology departments, based on these web searches, were included; awards to radiation oncology departments were excluded. Characteristics were summarized descriptively.


      A total of 61 unique institutions received awards. The top five funded institutions represented 33.6% of all funding. The most common institutes administering these awards were the National Cancer Institute (29.0%) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (21.6%). Women received 15.9% of awards and 13.3% of funding, with average funding per award of $353,512 compared to $434,572 for men. PhDs received 77.7% of all awards, with average funding per award of $457,413 compared to $505,516 for MDs. Full professors received 51.2% of awards (average funding per award of $532,668), compared to assistant professors who received 18.4% of awards ($260,177). Average funding was $499,859 for multiple-PI awards vs. $397,932 for single-PI awards. Common spending categories included “neurosciences,” “cancer,” “prevention,” and “aging.”


      NIH funding for diagnostic radiology departments has largely been awarded to senior-ranking male PhD investigators, commonly at large major academic medical centers. Initiatives are warranted to address such disparities and promote greater diversity in NIH funding among diagnostic radiology investigators.

      Key Words

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