Contemporary Trends and End-Results of National Institutes of Health Grant Funding to Departments of Urology in the United States: A 10-year Analysis

J of Urology

Purpose: We explored the patterns and distribution of National Institutes of Health grant funding for urological research in the United States.

Materials and methods: The National Institutes of Health RePORTER database was queried for all grants awarded to urology departments between 2010 and 2019. Information regarding the value of the grant, funded institution, successful publication of the research, and the category of urological subspecialty were collected. Data on principal investigators were extracted from publicly available information.

Results: There were 509 grants awarded to Urology between 2010 and 2019 for a total value of $640,873,867, and a median per-project value of $675,484 (IQR 344,170-1,369,385). Over the study period, total funding decreased by 15.6% and was lower compared to other surgical subspecialties. Most grants were awarded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (85%) to Western or North Central institutions (52.5%), and had principal investigators specialized in urologic oncology (56.4%), followed by general urologists (21.5%). Female principal investigators led 21.6% of Urology grants and were more likely PhD basic scientists than males (64.4% vs 38.2%, p=0.001). In total, 10,404 publications linked to the 509 grants were produced, of which 28.5% were published in journals with an impact factor ≥10.

Conclusions: Urology is underrepresented in National Institutes of Health grant funding compared to other surgical fields. During the past decade there was a further decrease in the total budget of National Institutes of Health grants to Urology.