By Cort Johnson in Health Rising.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveals that during the three grant review panels from July 2017 to April 2018, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) researchers applied for a total of 12 grants. It was the lowest number of grant applications to the panel dating back at least 12 years. Despite the increased interest in ME/CFS, the last five years have shown a more or less steady decline in individual grant applications from ME/CFS researchers.
- 2011 – 20
- 2012 – 30
- 2013 – 16
- 2015 – 26
- 2016 – 13
- 2017/18 – 12
The explanation for the low number of grant applications used to be that the grant review panels were packed with pain researchers who would not score ME/CFS grants well. That explanation was demolished when the pain researcher panels vanished with no uptick in ME/CFS grant application rates. Another idea has been that the NIH funds a lower percentage of ME/CFS grant applications than in other diseases. An analysis suggested that wasn’t true either – ME/CFS studies appear to be being approved at normal and at times higher than normal rates.
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