Monday, February 2, 2009

Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC)

At the request of Congress, the NIH embarked on a process to provide better consistency and transparency in the reporting of its funded research. This new process, implemented through the Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) system, uses sophisticated text data mining (categorizing and clustering using words and multiword phrases) in conjunction with NIH-wide definitions used to match projects to categories. The definitions are a list of terms and concepts selected by NIH scientific experts to define a research category. Due to significant methodology changes, it is likely that annual totals for categories (year over year) will exhibit a noticeable one-time adjustment. The research category levels represent the NIH’s best estimates based on the category definitions.

The NIH does not expressly budget by category. The annual estimates reflect amounts that change as a result of science, actual research projects funded, and the NIH budget. The research categories are not mutually exclusive. Individual research projects can be included in multiple categories so amounts depicted within each column of this table do not add up to 100 percent of NIH-funded research.

The FY 2005 and FY 2006 data were produced from a reporting process historically used by NIH. The technical elements of the previous reporting process did not have the ability to produce uniform results and led to wide variability in the way research categories were coded. This process caused inconsistencies in reporting data. RCDC’s use of data mining improves the consistency and eliminates the wide variability in defining the research categories reported. To illustrate the effect of the RCDC methodology change, the table shows a side-by-side comparison view of FY 2007 levels produced with the prior method compared with levels that would have resulted if the new methodology had been implemented.

Total Number of Research/Disease Areas: 215

Check it out.

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