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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341960

Research Project: Nutrients, Aging, and Musculoskeletal Function

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: The decline in vitamin research funding: a missed opportunity?

Author
item Chambers, James - Tufts University
item Anderson, Jordan - Tufts University
item Salem, Mark - Tufts University
item Bugel, Susanne - University Of Copenhagen
item Fenech, Michael - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item Mason, Joel - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Weber, Peter - Dsm Nutritional Products, Ltd
item West, Keith - Johns Hopkins University
item Wilde, Parke - Friedman School Of Nutrition
item Booth, Sarah - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Current Developments in Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2017
Publication Date: 4/5/2017
Citation: Chambers, J.D., Anderson, J.E., Salem, M.N., Bugel, S.G., Fenech, M., Mason, J.B., Weber, P., West, K.P., Wilde, P., Booth, S.L. 2017. The decline in vitamin research funding: a missed opportunity? Current Developments in Nutrition. doi: 10.3945/cdn.117.000430.

Interpretive Summary: The National Nutrition Research Roadmap has called for support of greater collaborative and interdisciplinary research in multiple areas of nutrition research. However, a substantial reduction in federal funding makes responding to these calls challenging. The objective of this study was to examine temporal trends in research funding and to discuss the potential consequences of these trends. We searched the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RePORTER to identify NIH research grants and USASpending to identify National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture research grants awarded from 1992 through 2015. We focused on those that pertained to vitamin research. For the years 2000 through 2015, we examined funding trends for different vitamins. From 1992 through 2015, total federal research spending increased from roughly $14 to $45 billion (2016 USD). Although vitamin research spending increased from roughly $89 to $95 million, the proportion of grants awarded for vitamin research declined by more than two-thirds from 1992 to 2015. Federal agencies awarded 6,035 vitamin research grants over the time period, with vitamin A associated with the most research projects per year on average and vitamin K the fewest. Vitamin D research projects were associated with the greatest average yearly project value. Vitamin research has faced a disproportionate decline in research funding from 1992 through 2015. Insufficient federal research funding streams risk stalling progress in vitamin research and leaving important advancements unrealized.

Technical Abstract: Background: The National Nutrition Research Roadmap has called for support of greater collaborative, interdisciplinary research for multiple areas of nutrition research. However, a substantial reduction in federal funding makes responding to these calls challenging. The objective of this study was to examine temporal trends in research funding and to discuss the potential consequences of these trends. Methods: We searched the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RePORTER to identify NIH research grants and USASpending to identify National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture research grants awarded from 1992 through 2015. We focused on those that pertained to vitamin research. For the years 2000 through 2015, we examined funding trends for different vitamins, including vitamins A, B (1-carbon B vitamins were considered separately from other B vitamins), C, D, E, and K. Results: From 1992 through 2015, total federal research spending increased from roughly $14 to $45 billion (2016 USD). Although vitamin research spending increased from roughly $89 to $95 million, the proportion of grants awarded for vitamin research declined by more than two-thirds, from 0.65% in 1992 to 0.2% in 2015. Federal agencies awarded 6,035 vitamin research grants over the time period, with vitamin A associated with the most research projects per year on average (n=115) and vitamin K the fewest (n=8). Vitamin D research projects were associated with the greatest average yearly project value ($34.8 million). Conclusion: Vitamin research has faced a disproportionate decline in research funding from 1992 through 2015. Insufficient federal research funding streams risk stalling progress in vitamin research and leaving important advancements unrealized.