Professor Carole Lee awarded contract from the National Institutes of Health to explore possible racial disparities in the NIH

Prof. Elena Erosheva (Statistics and Social Work) and Prof. Carole Lee (Philosophy) have been awarded a contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore possible racial disparities in the NIH grant review process.  Recent studies (Ginther et al., 2011; 2012) have shown that Black researchers are less likely than White researchers to receive NIH R01  grant funding by at least 10 percentage points. NIH uses a peer review grant process that requires each reviewer to provide individual criteria scores as well as overall scores, and instructs reviewers to weigh the different criteria as they see fit in deriving their overall scores. The goal of this contract is to study how reviewers commensurate or convert qualitatively different peer review criteria into a single metric/scale of overall value (Lee, 2015) for R01 applications submitted by racial and ethnic minorities. The project’s methodology was initially submitted by Lee and Erosheva to the NIH sponsored America COMPETES contest, and has won the First Prize in the category of Most Creative Idea for New Methods to Detect Bias in Peer Review.