Ranking NIH Funding of Surgical Departments Based Upon a Modified Index

Sherif S. Helmey, J. Bart Rose, Herbert Chen, Ashley M. Holder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) reports a ranking of surgical department NIH funding each fiscal year based on more than 41,000 individual investigators. This report is used to measure the research productivity of the faculty or department. However, this method includes institutional grants awarded to Cancer Centers or Centers for Research, which do not reflect individual or departmental research. To measure the research productivity of a surgical department more directly, we created a modified BRIMR index excluding grants to cancer or research centers. We evaluated how our modified index of surgical departments compared to the rankings by BRIMR. Methods: Publicly available BRIMR data was filtered for all grants awarded to principal investigators in a surgical department within a medical school. All funding for Cancer Centers or Centers for Research was excluded. The remaining grants were totaled, producing a new ranking of surgical departments. Results: After excluding $42,761,752 in grants to Cancer Centers and Centers for Research, there was individual movement of 33 surgical departments on the ranking list. However, only four departments moved either up or down one quartile. No surgical department moved 2 or more quartiles. Conclusions: NIH funding for Cancer Centers and Centers for Research comprised 10% of all NIH funding for medical school-associated surgical departments. Exclusion of this funding resulted in no significant change within surgical department quartile rankings. This suggests the BRIMR measure of research productivity does not need modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Medical school
  • NIH funding
  • Ranking
  • Surgery
  • Faculty
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Research Personnel
  • United States
  • Humans
  • Biomedical Research
  • Hospital Departments
  • Schools, Medical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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