Datahound has a cool new analysis posted on the distribution of competing continuation R01/R37 awards (Type 2 in NIH grant parlance).
There is one thing that I noticed that makes for a nice simple soundbite to go along with your other explanations to the willfully blind old guard about how much harder the NIH grant game is at the moment.
Datahound reports that in FY 1995 there were 2653 Type 2 competing continuation R01/R37 awards funded by the NIH. In FY 2014 there were only 1532 Type 2 competing continuation R01/R37 grants awarded.
I make this out to be 58% of the 1995 total.
This is a huge reduction. I had no idea that this was the case. I mean sure, I predicted that there would be a big decline in Type 2 following the ban of A2 revisions*. And I would have predicted that the post-Doubling, Undoubling, Defunding dismality would have had an impact on Type 2 awards. And I complained for years that the increasing odds of A0 apps being sent into the traffic holding pattern itself put a kibosh on Type 2 because PIs simply couldn't assume a competing continuation would be funded in time to avoid a gap. Consequently PIs were strategically putting in closely related but "new" apps in say Year 3 of the original noncompeting interval.
But I think if I had been asked to speculate I would have estimated a much smaller reduction.
*I can't wait until Datahound brackets this interval so we can see if this was the major effect or if the trend has developed more gradually since 1995.