UG Medical School professor hits rare perfect score in America’s National Institutes of Health grant application

Professor Eric Sampane-Donkor of the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) has got the academic world talking after he scored a rare per...

UG Medical School professor hits rare perfect scor
UG Medical School professor hits rare perfect scor

Professor Eric Sampane-Donkor of the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) has got the academic.

world talking after he scored a rare perfect score in the National Institute of Health.

grant application.

According to the Institute, “A perfect score on an NIH grant is so.

unusual; it signifies an incredibly impactful, innovative and well-written grant with no weaknesses”.

The perfect impact score of 10 (highest score possible) received on this grant.

application submitted from the University of Ghana ranks among the top one percentile of all.

grants ever submitted to the NIH.

National Institute of Health (NIH) grants are one of the most competitive research.

grants in the world, and attract thousands of applications from leading researchers in the United.

States and other countries.

This grant application, which involves the use of bioinformatics and disease modelling to.

address crucial aspects of zoonoses and foodborne infections in West Africa (The ZOOFOOD Project), received.

the rare perfect score, as it was deemed “exceptional” by the NIH’s Centre for Scientific.

Review Special Emphasis Panel.

Apart from the perfect score on the UE5 application, Professor Eric Sampane-Donkor received.

two other awards from the NIH including an RO1 and a D43, all within one.


The RO1 grant is a 5-year research project titled “Invasive Pneumococcal Disease and.

Carriage among Children with Sickle Cell Disease in Ghana: A Post-Vaccination Study”- The Pneumosic Study.

This study seeks to unravel the impact of vaccination on the population biology.

of the pneumococcus with regard to children with sickle cell disease in Ghana and identify.

candidates for a more improved vaccine against this pathogen.

The D43 grant is a 5-year research training programme titled “Research and Capacity.

Building in Antimicrobial Resistance in West Africa”-The RECABAW Training Programme.

This training will help establish a core of West African scientists through PhD.

and postdoctoral training to advance the understanding and management of antimicrobial resistance in the sub-region.

The three parallel projects will train 52 masters, PhDs and postdoctoral fellows, to.

tackle infectious diseases in West Africa, while establishing collaborative links between the University of Ghana.

and several institutions in West Africa, The United States, Israel and the United Kingdom.

A publication of the University of Mississippi compares the rarity and difficulty of.

achieving the NIH Perfect Score to “pitching a perfect game in Major League Baseball, an.

amateur bowler scoring 300 or an NFL running back rushing for 200 yards in a.

single game” – this has occurred only 23 times in the 140 years’ history of.

the game during which >235,000 games were played.

The publication also points out that, “the best of the best rarely achieve.

this score, since each of the dozens or more members of the NIH review panel.

must be in agreement to allow for such an outcome”.

The Unicorn Score received by Professor Eric Sampane-Donkor, especially on a first submission,.

reinforces the high impact of his research at the University of Ghana Medical School.

Professor Eric Sampane-Donkor (BSc-Hons, Grad Dip, MSc, PhD, MBA, MPhil, PhD, FGA, FIBMS,.

FRCPath) is a Professor of Bacteriology and Global Health.

He has authored 132 journal articles, mainly in international journals.

Additionally, he has 20 publications in the form of book chapters, books, and technical reports.

He is the current head of the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of.

Ghana Medical School, where he has been implementing a transformational leadership agenda since 2020 including,.

fundraising, state-of-the-art facilities, faculty promotion and development, internationalization, and re-branding of the Department.

Commenting on Professor Sampane-Donkor’s recent success with NIH grants, Professor Kofi Owusu Boahene,.

Director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,.

USA, said, “It is remarkable by itself to be awarded multiple NIH grants in any.

given year; to top, that off with a perfect score is an outstanding achievement.

This is indeed a validation of the impact of his research and a positive reflection.

on his institution.

In response to the perfect score received, Prof.

Sampane-Donkor indicated that “I am humbled that an application from the University of Ghana was.

counted as the best by the United States’ most prestigious research funding institution; we thank.

God for this honour.

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