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Mission-oriented biomedical research at the NIH

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  • Sampat, Bhaven N.
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    Abstract

    The NIH (National Institutes of Health) is the largest single funder of biomedical research in the world. This paper documents tensions between the agency's health and science missions and considers how, in light of these, it has managed to sustain a level of bipartisan political support uncommon in U.S. health or research policy. It highlights the serendipity hypothesis, the presence of “safety valve” mechanisms that allow it to (on occasion) target research at particular diseases and priorities, and a broad and diverse set of constituencies as important to understanding the agency's political success. Through an in-depth look at the NIH allocation process, the paper also provides insights into how demand-side considerations can affect the direction of scientific research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1729-1741

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:10:p:1729-1741

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: NIH; Medical research; Serendipity; Mission-oriented research;

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    1. David M. Cutler & Ellen Meara & Seth Richards, 2009. "Induced Innovation and Social Inequality: Evidence from Infant Medical Care," NBER Working Papers 15316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bhattacharya, Jay & Packalen, Mikko, 2011. "Opportunities and benefits as determinants of the direction of scientific research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 603-615, July.
    3. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2001. "The Allocation of Publicly Funded Biomedical Research," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 565-590 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2009. "Incentives and Creativity: Evidence from the Academic Life Sciences," NBER Working Papers 15466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mowery, David C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Martin, Ben R., 2010. "Technology policy and global warming: Why new policy models are needed (or why putting new wine in old bottles won't work)," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1011-1023, October.
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