Publication history helps explain racial disparity in NIH funding

A recent article from Science, “Publication history helps explain racial disparity in NIH funding,” highlights a new study publication by Donna K. Ginther and team.

Publications as predictors of racial and ethnic differences in NIH research awards” is published in PLOS ONE and builds upon the team’s previous work expanding efforts to understand differences in NIH funding associated with the self-identified race and ethnicity of applicants.

Longtime CCHE collaborator and Health Equity Leadership Institute Faculty, Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, is quoted in the Science piece: “The first paper from this team set in motion [a] reverberation that went around the country,” says Dr. Thomas, the director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland in College Park. The new publication is “a very important paper” because it uses a more sophisticated analysis to identify explanations for the funding gap, but it “has not removed the prospect of actual bias on the part of reviewers,” he says.

Health inequities stem from many places and if faculty of color cannot succeed in securing funding, their research priorities and questions are limited and their perspectives are absent from academic rooms. This work confirms there are implications for tending to publication records as part of academic training programs, mentoring, faculty development efforts, etc.

Read the full PLOS ONE publication by Ginther and team, ‘Publications as predictors of racial and ethnic differences in NIH research awards.’

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