Funding of hydrocephalus research is important to the advancement of the field. The goal of this paper is to describe the funding of hydrocephalus research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over a recent 10-year period.
The NIH online database RePORT (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools) was searched using the key word “hydrocephalus.” Studies were sorted by relevance to hydrocephalus. The authors analyzed funding by institute, grant type, and scientific approach over time.
Over $54 million was awarded to 59 grantees for 66 unique hydrocephalus proposals from 48 institutions from 2002 to 2011. The largest sources of funding were the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Of the total, $22 million went to clinical trials, $15 million to basic science, and $10 million to joint ventures with small business (Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer). Annual funding varied from $2.3 to $8.1 million and steadily increased in the second half of the observation period. The number of new grants also went from 15 in the first 5 years to 27 in the second 5 years. A large portion of the funding has been for clinical trials. Funding for shunt-device development grew substantially. Support for training of hydrocephalus investigators has been low.
Hydrocephalus research funding is low compared with that for other conditions of similar health care burden. In addition to NIH applications, researchers should pursue other funding sources. Small business collaborations appear to present an opportunity for appropriate projects.