FAER  |   April 2014
FAER Grants, Federal Funding and the Future of Anesthesiology
Author Affiliations
  • Denham S. Ward, M.D., Ph.D.
    Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research
    President and CEO
Article Information
Education / CPD / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / FAER
FAER   |   April 2014
FAER Grants, Federal Funding and the Future of Anesthesiology
ASA Monitor 04 2014, Vol.78, 60-62.
ASA Monitor 04 2014, Vol.78, 60-62.
There are many markers of “success” in a research career, such as winning the Nobel Prize, but we most commonly use grants and research publications as indicators, perhaps with their quality measured by a citation bibliometrics.1 
When it comes to grants, NIH funding has long been taken as an essential marker of research success. For instance, academic promotion is often partly based on whether the faculty member has NIH funding. And on a larger scale, the amount of funding anesthesiology receives from the NIH compared to other medical specialties demonstrates collective achievement.
Although NIH funding is not the only indicator of a productive research career, in order to understand how we might improve anesthesiology’s performance in research, it is important now to consider that the NIH is experiencing tough times. Federal research and development investments have declined continuously since 2004 in both current and constant dollars.2  A December 2013 report from the Congressional Research Service indicated that between 1998 and 2003, U.S. Congress nearly doubled the NIH budget from $16.1 billion to $27.1 billion. During those years, NIH received annual funding increases ranging from 14 percent to 16 percent.
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