NIH study reveals black scientists are systematically underfunded

Scientists may go to great lengths to eliminate bias from their research, but a study published today in Science is raising troubling questions about the nature of racial bias in the Ph.D. grant review process.

The in-depth analysis of NIH grant data reveals that a black research scientist is 10% less likely to receive research funding than a white scientist from a similar institution and with the same research credentials.

The study was commissioned by the NIH itself, and was led by research economist Donna Ginther, who has headed up similar studies in the past to examine the challenges faced by women in science.

The study can be found in its entirety here (no subscription required). You can read Science's comprehensive news article on the study — which includes more detailed statistics and reactions from NIH Director Francis Collins — here.

Next week, Science Live will hold an online chat to discuss the study and challenges that minority and women researchers face.

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