Understanding What Data #NIH Makes Public

  • Wednesday, January 1, 2020 7:00 AM

By accepting funding through the National Institute of Health (#NIH) grants program for your Small Business Research Innovation (#SBIR) project, you are entering into a contract of sorts. Part of this contract, as you are probably aware, concerns how the funds will be spent. However, what many grant recipients do not consider is what data #NIH makes public. When you have a new, innovative idea it is human nature to be protective of your idea, but there are a few pieces of information #NIH deems public information and always shares about recipients of the #NIH SBIR project funding. These data are:

  • The name of the Principal Investigator, Project Director, and other project leaders.
  • The titles of all project leaders involved (e.g. Project Director, Engineer)
  • Thew email addresses of all project leaders
  • The organizational name
  • The institutional address
  • The project summary/abstract
  • The public health relevance statement

In addition to these data, key elements related to ongoing funded projects, especially those that are listed on the data dictionary at ExPorter (https://exporter.nih.gov/about.aspx), as well as through the #NIH’s weekly electronic publication published to their funding page.

While the disclosure of these data can be a deterrent to many who would rather keep their project private, the benefit of allocated funding generally far outweighs the risk and anxiety associated with a small amount of public information being shared. Nonetheless, it is important to understand what data NIH makes public before you apply so there are no unpleasant surprises.

While #NIH was the primary example in this post, be sure to check with each funding agency as to what specifically is made public as each agency is slightly different in terms of how data is presented to the public.


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