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By Barbara Lipsche
PBN Staff Writer
By Barbara Lipsche
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Nearly halfway through fiscal year 2014, National Institutes of Health grants to Rhode Island institutions are well short of the pace set in the previous year, according to figures on the NIH’s website.
Through March 17, the NIH, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, has made 81 grant awards totaling $20,485,540 to Rhode Island researchers. That’s roughly 15 percent of the $144,462,615 in 467 grants made in fiscal 2013.
Leading the recipients in fiscal 2014 is Brown University, which had received 25 awards totaling $9.1 million for projects that included “Developing a Low-Intensity Primary Care Intervention for Anxiety Disorders,” “Changing Long-Term Care in America: Policies, Markets, Strategies and Outcomes” and “Efficacy of Brisk Walking as a Smoking Cessation Treatment Adjunct Among Women.” In 2013 Brown received 165 awards valued at $56.2 million.
“Brown experienced some declines in NIH research funding in recent years, in part as a result of sequestration and some delays in funding decisions,” said David Savitz, vice president for research at Brown University. He added, however, that NIH funding for Brown appears to be improving and the school expects to be “in a better position in FY14.”
Brown University’s fiscal year 2014 will end in June and does not correspond to the NIH fiscal year, which runs through September.
The largest number of grants in fiscal 2014 so far have gone to Gordon Research Conferences, which puts on academic conferences. The South Kingstown-based company has received 26 awards totaling $357,411 for the fiscal period. In fiscal 2013, Gordon received 89 grants totaling $1.2 million.
Lifespan institutions, including Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital, have received $6.1 million through 18 awards in 2014, compared with $48 million through 124 awards for all of 2013. Care New England has received $2.1 million this year through 6 grants to Butler Hospital, and Women and Infants Hospital, compared with 47 2013 grants of $14.7 million to Butler, Women and Infants and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.
Gail Carvelli, a spokeswoman for Lifespan, said that since NIH grants “tend to be awarded in several waves throughout the year,” comparing grant awards on a month-to-month basis is “not an accurate predictor of what will be received in a year.”
While a full analysis of fiscal 2014 NIH grant awards compared with fiscal 2013 awards cannot be made until the close of the fiscal year in September, data from previous years suggests a general decline in total funding awarded to Rhode Island institutions.
In fiscal year 2012, the NIH awarded 449 grants totaling $149,637,871 to Rhode Island institutions, or 3.6 percent more than the total of $144,462,615 a year later in fiscal year 2013. Brown University, Gordon Research Conferences and Rhode Island Hospital topped off the list of state recipients, with all three combined receiving more than half the total number of awards given by the NIH in 2012.
The 2012 total represented a 2.1 percent decline compared with the $152,768,336 in NIH grants awarded to Rhode Island in fiscal year 2011.
Recipients over the last three years, with awards, include: