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Virginia Tech adjunct and colleagues refute a study on 'racial bias' report in NIH awards
Date:1/31/2013

In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it was considering anonymity in the review of grant applications. (Found at: http://chronicle.com/article/NIH-Considers-Anonymity-for/136227/?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en )

Ge Wang, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at the Virginia Tech Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and seven of his colleagues do not believe this action is necessary if taken to counteract a charge of "racial bias."

For Wang, their study was based on the most recent controversy that began with a report, "Race, ethnicity, and NIH research awards," that appeared in the Aug. 19, 2011 issue of Science. In this paper published by D. K. Ginther of the University of Kansas as the primary author, the economist stated that Asians were four percentage points and black or African American applicants 13 percentage points "less likely to receive NIH investigator-initiated research funding compared to whites."

The paper further stated that "after controlling for the applicant's educational background, country of origin, training, previous research awards, publication record, and employer characteristics, we find that black applicants remain 10 percentage points less likely than whites to be awarded NIH research funding."

Wang's follow-up study, that appeared Jan. 31 in the on line version of the Journal of Informatics, is based on some high level mathematical equations, using an axiomatic approach and paired statistical analysis.

Wang and his co-authors began their study using axioms starting points of reasoning in m
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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