In 1998, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) announced an ambitious 5-year plan for funding research, namely that by Fiscal Year 2003, one of three Total Public Support dollars raised by the ADA would be allocated to Research Awards and Grants. Since 1998, I have kept the Professional Section apprised of progress toward that goal by yearly letters published in this journal. The results of the 5th and final year, Fiscal Year 2003, are included in Table 1.

We obviously did not come close to realizing this ambitious goal. In my 1998 Presidential Address, I compared the ADA to a large ship in which a new course first required a change of direction (which would occur slowly) before proceeding toward and hopefully reaching a new port. It’s obvious that we have not reached that port, and realistically speaking, we probably never will. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the following. In each of the previous years, the increase in funding for Research Awards and Grants was much less than 50% of the increase in Total Public Support. In the last fiscal year, in which there was a severe economic downturn, Total Public Support increased much less than in previous years. However, the increase in research funding actually exceeded the increase in Total Public Support. To return to a perhaps tortured metaphor, although we probably will never reach the port promised 5 years ago, we seem to be headed in the right direction. That’s certainly a positive sign and speaks well for the future of research funding by the ADA.