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

pools of faculty members based on such statistics as co-authorship of papers, journal impact factors, and citations to their papers, and evaluated scientific productivity.

Initial data were consistent with that obtained by Ginther and her colleagues in the paper in Science. Interestingly, when the "total grant amounts and the number of funded projects were racial-group-wise normalized" based on the individual scientific publication measures, "the NIH review process does not appear biased against black faculty members," Wang and his co-authors asserted.

"When the totals and numbers were normalized by the productivity measure in terms of the journals' reputations index, the ratios between black and white faculty members neared parity," Wang reiterated.

Wang added that his team's mathematical approach, outlined in their journal paper, can be applied beyond the study presented and used for additional academic evaluation in the teamwork context. Wang is now a chaired professor of engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

According to the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the NIH had an advisory committee perform an analysis of its grant-making processes. One result was the consideration of a pilot program that would force reviewers to evaluate grant applications without knowing who submitted them as one way to eliminate any perception of bias in its grant-making process.


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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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