See Funded Projects Using RePORT
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, as well as two key tools for you to explore: Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC) and RePORTER.
RCDC for the Big Picture
First, get an overview of how NIH spends its money across 282 research categories using Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC). NIH offers historical data for fiscal year (FY) 2013 through FY 2016 and uses actual data to project estimates for FY 2017 and FY 2018.
NIH assigns research to the relevant categories based on the text you use in your applications. (Go to NIAID's Write Your Research Plan for tips on how to best describe your research.)
Try the RCDC search box or click any of the underlined dollar values for details. If you drill down far enough through the RCDC site, you'll end up in the RePORTER system.
RePORTER for Specifics
The NIH RePORTER search form is your gateway into NIH's free database of funded projects, investigators, publications, and patents.
Its search results show you lists of projects and names of funded researchers. This can be a great way to get a snapshot of your field and look for potential collaborators or competitors. You may spot research areas that are underrepresented or highly supported.
To see active projects broken out by NIH institute or center, use RePORTER's Browse NIH option.
The Matchmaker function allows you to paste in text, such as keywords or a scientific abstract, and get a list of up to 100 similar projects. One recent user reviewed Matchmaker as "quick and easy." He remarked that the results showed "which institutes and study sections to target as well as names of others in the field to connect with." In the project list, you can click the titles to view project details, which include the name of the associated NIH program officers. Keep in mind, if a study section code begins with “Z”, then the study section was a Special Emphasis Panel and you cannot request this option in your application.
If you have an eRA Commons account, you can use eRA's LikeThis (A Thesaurus-Based Search Tool) to find funded projects and publications as well. Both Matchmaker and LikeThis leverage RePORTER data, so try both and see which you like best.
Search Publications is a new RePORTER feature, currently in beta testing. Enter up to a thousand comma-separated PubMed ID (PMID) numbers and it will return publications associated with extramural or intramural funded projects. As an example, we entered the PMID number 26252731 and got information about the associated R01, plus options to view similar publications or citations through PubMed or Google Scholar. Be sure to use PMID numbers, not PubMed Central reference number (PMCID).
Here are some tips to modify your query on the RePORTER search form:
- To get the most recent results, set the Fiscal Year (FY) field on the upper right of the search form to "2017."
- 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. These data cover only FY 2013 through FY 2016; FY 2017 won't be available until the fiscal year ends.
RePORTER has more options for you, including additional filters and search options. Get step-by-step instructions and screenshots in the RePORTER Manual.
Save Your Work
In RCDC or RePORTER, you can save your search results at any time using the green Excel Export button.
To leverage that data further, consider ExPORTER. It allows you to download the raw data behind RePORTER for in-depth analysis. You can even load it into your own data system.
If you decide to compare your search results with NIH's official year-end reports, remember that many projects are assigned to more than one RCDC category. Searches by RCDC category may not match official reports of spending by category. For more explanation, read the front page of ExPORTER and the questions starting at Do the numbers in RCDC reports add up to the total NIH budget?
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.