See Funded Projects Using RePORTER
Staying at the cutting edge involves more than just keeping up with the journals and attending scientific conferences. Here’s how to use NIH databases to learn about emerging trends in funded research—and potentially find new collaborators, too.
NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) site offers many reports on NIH spending. Two key parts of that site are Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) and RePORTER.
RCDC for the Big Picture
First, get the big picture of how NIH spends its money on more than 200 research categories using Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC). The introductory text tells you which fiscal years are included as historic data and which are estimated projections.
You can click any of the underlined dollar values for details, or try using the search box. If you drill down far enough through the RCDC site, you'll end up in the RePORTER system.
RePORTER for Specifics
Try out the many search functions of NIH RePORTER, a free database of funded projects, investigators, publications, and patents. This can be a good way to identify which research areas are highly supported or underrepresented, and it can also help you find teammates in your area of science.
The RePORTER search results show you lists of projects and names of funded researchers; the potential collaborators or competitors we mentioned earlier. You can review project summaries, see the results on a map, or use the other tabs on the search results for links to PubMed Central publications and iEdison patent information.
To see active projects broken out by NIH Institute or Center, use RePORTER's Browse NIH option.
RePORTER offers some other features you may find useful:
- The Matchmaker function lets you paste in text, such as a scientific abstract. Then Matchmaker will give you a list of up to 100 similar projects.
- You can search for news releases. On the main search page, go to the Text Search section and choose the News checkbox.
- In the Project Details section, you can search by program officer. If you search for your usual program officer, you can find other investigators in his or her portfolio.
- Here are some tips to modify your query results on the main RePORTER search form:
- To get the most recent results, set the Fiscal Year (FY) on the upper right corner to the most recently completed year.
- To be more inclusive, use the default value of "Active Projects" in that same field.
- To search using RCDC spending categories, go to Project Details and use the NIH Spending Category field.
- You can use Boolean search operators ("AND" and "OR") in the NIH Spending Category field and many other text fields. So searching for "Aging OR Alzheimer's" finds projects in either category, while searching "Aging AND Alzheimer's" returns only projects that cover both categories.
Save Your Work
In RCDC or RePORTER, you can save your search results at any time using the green Excel Export button.
But for a more in-depth analysis, there's another option: ExPORTER. It lets you download the raw data behind RePORTER and analyze it with your own tools or even load it into your own data system.
Last, but not least, you can save your finely-crafted queries by registering for My RePORTER. This also gives you the option of getting an alert whenever a new project or publication appears for your queries. Learn more in the My RePORTER Tutorial.
If you enjoy data analysis enough to compare your search results with NIH official year-end reports, there are some caveats:
- The total dollars reported in the RCDC spending categories add up to more than 100 percent of the NIH budget since many projects are assigned to more than one RCDC category. For more explanation, see Do the numbers in RCDC reports add up to the total NIH budget? and subsequent questions.
- A RePORTER search on an RCDC spending category won't necessarily add up to the NIH budget figures shown on Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC). See the explanation on the ExPORTER main page.
LikeThis: Another Option To Find Funded Projects and Publications
If you have applied for a grant before, LikeThis can find projects similar to your application.
Like RePORTER, LikeThis can also retrieve funded projects and publications based on the scientific text you enter.
A program officer in your area of science can give you application advice, NIAID's perspective on your research, and confirmation that NIAID will accept your application.
Find contacts and instructions at When to Contact a NIAID Program Officer.