7 key notes on NIH funding for orthopedic surgery departments

Written by Megan Wood | January 25, 2017 | Print  |

Researchers examined the National Institutes of Health funding to U.S. medical schools' orthopedic surgery departments, in a study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

The study dove into the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools database to identify NIH grants given to orthopedic surgery departments in 2014. The researchers examined NIH funding trends between 2005 and 2014 and compared it to total NIH extramural research funding.


Here are the results:


1. Researchers found NIH awarded 183 grants to 132 investigators within 44 orthopedic surgery departments in 2014.


2. Between 2005 and 2014, NIH boosted its funding by 24.3 percent to nearly $54.61 million. Researchers noted this increase proved similar to NIH's boost in extramural research funding during the time period.


3. Of the total funds, 51.1 percent went toward basic science research; 33 percent toward translational research; 10 percent toward clinical research; and 5.9 percent toward educational research.


4. Of NIH-funded orthopedic principal investigators, 71.1 percent held a PhD and 79.5 percent were male.


5. NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases awarded the majority of funding (74.2 percent).


6. The departments of general surgery, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, otolaryngology and urology received more NIH funding in 2014 than orthopedic surgery departments received.


7. Researchers concluded, "funding levels may not match the academic potential of orthopedic faculty, and interventions may be needed to increase NIH grant procurement."


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