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This Note describes a study of basic investigator-initiated (R01) research grants made to psychologists by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1968 to 1985. Several important trends were observed. First, a shift has occurred — whereas previously the majority of R01 funding to psychologists came from ADAMHA, more recently it has come from NIH. Second, the proportion of psychologist R01 applicants and recipients who are 35 years of age or younger has decreased markedly. Third, the proportion of R01 applications by psychologists that result in awards has also decreased substantially. Finally, there are noticeable differences among ADAMHA and NIH institutes in the distribution of R01 awards to researchers in various subfields of psychology. The implications of these trends for the quality and future of research in the field of psychology are discussed. The authors recommend that additional research, including both survey- and archive-based studies of support for young investigators, and formal experiments with innovative grant application and review procedures, be conducted.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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