Exponent Telegram: U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., kicks off research workshop at WVU

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Washington, September 19, 2018 | comments
U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., kicked off the Building Research in Capacity in West Virginia workshop Wednesday afternoon at West Virginia University, discussing the importance of seeking grants in medical research.
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U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., kicked off the Building Research in Capacity in West Virginia workshop Wednesday afternoon at West Virginia University, discussing the importance of seeking grants in medical research.

A large amount of medical research in the United States is funded by grants given out by a government agency, the National Institutes of Health. These grants are typically given out to researchers at a university like WVU.

WVU ranks 133rd for colleges in National Institute of Health funding, receiving $23,352,694 in the last fiscal year. While $23 million might sound like a lot, McKinley said it is small beans in comparison to the over $30 billion in grants the agency gives out every year.

 “We’ve got to do a better job, be more proactive and go out and chase these grants,” he said. “We weren’t doing it, which is why we only have such a small percentage out of a $30 billion account.”

The workshop, which runs Wednesday and Thursday at the WVU Medicine Health Sciences Center, features numerous speakers and experts in the field of health, relaying on the intricacies of seeking grants and research funding.

McKinley said the idea for the workshop arose from a desire to inform the researchers seeking National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants of the most successful ways of doing so.

“We had the idea to bring everyone together in one place to learn about how the NIH works,” he said. “What can we accomplish if we show the inner workings of the NIH, and the ways to successfully receive grants.”

With heavy competition for funding, McKinley said it is more important than ever for researchers to actively seek grant money. While in past years grants were given out with more frequency, he said this is no longer the case.

“One of the frustrating things I learned quickly is that the federal government isn’t going to hand any of West Virginia’s institutions grants anymore,” McKinley said. “Now they won’t just give them to you. They want you to earn it.”

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