June 29, 2017
The National Institutes of Health withdrew its proposal to implement a Grant Support Index after the scientific community voiced concerns about the methodology, which capped funding for certain investigators in an effort to correct imbalances in funding distribution. In place of the GSI, NIH launched the Next Generation Researchers Initiative.
NIH Director Francis Collins explained the decision and outlined components of the new initiative in a June 8 announcement.
The goal of the initiative is to increase funding for early- and mid-career researchers and remove some of the longstanding barriers they face in starting and sustaining independent careers. The plan addresses both research workforce stability and evaluation of NIH research investments. The agency will free up funds from its base budget to support meritorious applications from early- and mid-career investigators and will emphasize current funding mechanisms aimed at these groups. To evaluate impact, NIH will track funding decisions and develop metrics that measure how NIH grant support affects scientific progress.