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Topic choice ‘contributes to racial bias’ in NIH grants


Black applicants more likely to propose work in ‘underappreciated’ research topics

The tendency of black researchers to apply for funding in ‘underappreciated’ topics of research is contributing to their low success rates at the National Institutes of Health, a group of NIH scientists has found. 

The findings might help explain why black scientists tend to access less funding from NIH than their white counterparts. In 2011 a study found that white researchers were nearly twice as likely to win grants from the NIH as black researchers. But a 2018 study that re-evaluated grant applications after changing applicants’ names found no apparent gender or race bias in how grant proposals were scored. 

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