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Table 4 Overview of funding distribution mechanisms of the 10 largest funding organizations of health research globally (in million 2013 US $)

From: The 10 largest public and philanthropic funders of health research in the world: what they fund and how they distribute their funds

  1 2 2a 2b 3 4 5 5a 6 7 8 9 10
Funding organization NIH EC – total EC – FP7 health EC – ERC MRC Insermb US DoD – total US DoD – CDMRP Wellcome Trusta CIHR NHMRC HHMI DFG
Country USA EU EU EU GBR FRA USA USA GBR CAN AUS USA DEU
Total health research funding 26,081.3 3717.7 1181.7 783.4 1321.5 1041.2 1017.7 409.0 909.1 883.6 777.6 752.0 630.6
Year 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2012 2013 2012 2013 2013 2012
Intramural vs. extramural Largely extramural NA Extramural Extramural Mixed Intramural NA Largely extramural Largely extramural Extramural Extramural Largely extramuralc Extramural
Mechanism for extramural funding Largely untargeted (but earmarked for broad areas), with smaller targeted and organizational funding streams NA Targeted, issuing calls under prioritized health research topics Untargeted Mixed approach, with large streams for untargeted (but earmarked for broad areas), targeted and organizational fundingd NA Largely targeted, issuing calls under prioritized health research topics, with a smaller untargeted funding stream Largely untargeted, with a smaller targeted funding stream Largely untargeted, with a smaller targeted funding stream Largely untargeted, with smaller organizational and targeted funding streams Untargeted Mixed approach, with large streams for organizational and untargeted funding and a smaller targeted funding stream
Intramural funding 3283 0 0 0 513 1041 16 155 0 0 100 0
Extramural funding 22,799 3718 1182 783 809 0 393 754 884 778 652 631e
 Project grants 18,341 1182 783 519 0 368 692 478 0 271
  Untargeted 0 0 783 0 0 0 464 468 0 217
  Untargeted, earmarked for broad areas 11,708 0 0 220f 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Targeted 3738 1182 0 221f 0 299 228 0 0 52
  Highly targeted 2895 0 0 0 0 69 0 10 0 2
 ‘People grants’ 615 0 0 98 0 25 105 156 652 14
 All funding to organizations 2709 0 0 163 0 0 4 143 0 254
 Other researchg 1134 0 0 28 0 0 83 0 0 1
 Research training/science educationh 768 0 0 0 0 26 64 0 80 38
  1. All data are from publicly available documents, except for CDMRP and DFG, for which data were received through personal communication, and for CIHR for which the data were largely publicly available but were supplemented through personal communication
  2. Zero’s (“0”) indicates an amount of zero million in funding; dashes (“–”) indicate that no information on the amount of funding was available; NA indicates that we did not extract information for overarching funding organizations (only for the more specific organization(s) next to it). Some of the funders we identified (the EC and the US DoD) consisted of several sub-organizations that distributed the research funding in different ways, in which case we compiled total funding for the organization as a whole, but analysed the distribution mechanisms of the largest sub-organization(s)
  3. NIH, National Institutes Of Health; EC, European Commission; FP7 health, FP7-cooperation programme – Health Theme; ERC, European Research Council; US DoD, United States Department Of Defense; CDMRP, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program; MRC, Medical Research Council; Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale; CIHR, Canadian Institutes Of Health Research; NHMRC, National Health and Medical Research Council; HHMI, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  4. aThe annual expenditures for the Wellcome Trust are a slight overestimation for health research spending. Under medical humanities and engagement, various non-research grants are provided as well as other activities (e.g. running the Wellcome library), but these were not reported on separately, so are included under ‘Research’
  5. bInserm funds research almost exclusively intramurally. However, Inserm does provide for some extramural funding. We were not able to find any information about the proportion of funding by Inserm that is distributed extramurally, but it is likely very small, so we classified all of Inserm’s funding as intramural. Historical research into Inserm’s expenditures put the organization’s intramural/extramural proportions of distributed funds at 10/90 [23]
  6. cTechnically, HHMI funds research 100% intramurally because it employs its own researchers. However, its researchers are mostly located at external research institutes or universities (with the exception of HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus), and therefore, for this table, we classified HHMI’s funding distribution mechanism as largely extramural. The 100 million dollar for intramural funding is based on an annual budget estimate from 2010 for the Janelia Research Campus by HHMI itself and is not a precise number
  7. dThe MRC has both untargeted and targeted funding streams; most are untargeted (‘response-mode’ in the MRC’s description). However, untargeted funding at the MRC is not fully untargeted, the Research Boards that make funding decisions take into account broader strategic considerations, priorities, portfolio balance, and issue ‘highlight notices’ for issues that are of especial importance to the MRC
  8. eThe data for DFG do not add up because multiple sources were used (public reporting and personal communication). The total amount of funding includes overhead costs for projects, while amount for various research categories are exclusive of overhead costs
  9. fFunding distribution figures of MRC are based on data provided in the annual report 2013/2014 of the MRC United Kingdom. All figures are based on actual expenditures; however, targeted and untargeted funding are based on commitments made, and therefore do not add up to total Project funding
  10. g‘Other research’ included ‘other research’ categories in funding organizations’ reports and funds for research communication when specified separately
  11. hTraining support and research education were not included in the overall amount for health research expenditures, but because there can be an overlap between these activities and research activities, particularly in the case of post-doctoral fellowships, we collected expenditures toward research education and training separately
  12. For definitions of terms in this table (e.g. ‘people grants’ or ‘untargeted’/‘targeted’/‘highly targeted’) see Additional file 1