The NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools
(RePORT) allow researchers to explore projects funded by the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The database allows for search across the text of the titles & abstracts of funded projects, and it’s also possible to access the patents & publications generated from funded research. Researchers can also access awards by location and date, and advanced users can export results to Excel for further exploration.
NIH Reporter can be a useful tool for introducing undergraduates interested in the health sciences to the landscape of sponsored research in the US. The search capabilities of the database allow individuals to discover projects hosted at their institutions or investigated by specific researchers, and the database is particularly valuable for exposing students to how local research activity fits into the broader context of health research nationally.
A useful feature of the NIH Reporter is the Estimates of funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC),
which I’ve personally found useful in talking with students about the differing levels of research support for different health problems. Funded projects are connected to specific conditions and diseases via an automated text mining algorithm, which makes it possible to answer questions like, for example, “How much funding is devoted to Asthma research?” Students can then contextualize this information alongside the funding levels for research on other health conditions.
As students examine these resources they can explore the crucial relationship between health science and public policy.
Josh Bishoff, Biological Sciences Librarian, University of Minnesota, firstname.lastname@example.org
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