writedit asks: "What is Scarpa smoking?"

Jun 09 2009 Published by under Grant Review, NIH, NIH Budgets and Economics

writedit:

What is Toni Scarpa smoking? He recently told The Chronicle of Higher Education that

The numbers [of RC1s] are causing concern for the present, as each application requires an average of three reviewers working 12 hours apiece, Dr. Scarpa told agency representatives.

Everyone out there who is spending 12 hours reviewing their Challenge Grants, raise your hand. Based on conversations I've had with investigators here at BICO (& warmer environs elsewhere) in a wide range of disciplines, they uniformly find these proposals, shall we say, unchallenging, to be kind. I'm sure Comrade PhysioProf can provide the appropriate color commentary.

Go read, writedit has a few more interesting details.
But seriously? 12 hours per critique? The CSR comes across as being seriously out of touch with the reality of review now and again, don't they?

5 responses so far

  • I'm sure Scarpa knows that he's full of shit, and that there is some bureaucratic/budgetary reason that he has to assert that it takes 12 hours to review one of these things.

  • Cashmoney says:

    Yeah right, CPP. It is just more of you PIs overestimating how much time it takes you to do all your hard ass jobs all the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    Twelve hours is a conservative estimate...
    1 minute to log in to the website.
    2 minutes to download stuff.
    2 minutes to figure out that I missed something.
    5 minutes to rename files and put them in a folder.
    8 minutes to open a random file and say 'what the hell is this?'
    16 hours to ignore all the files.
    1 hour to surf the web and find out other people have noticed unannounced changes in assignments.
    1 minute to log in to the web site.
    4 minutes to compare what's there now with what I think was there before.
    17 minutes to decide whether I should print anything out or just read it on screen.
    3 seconds to decide I don't want to waste paper.
    14 more hours to ignore everything.
    1 hour to print everything out.
    7 hours to ignore the stack of paper.
    1 hour to read the first proposal.
    36 minutes to read the second proposal.
    5 minutes to look at the third proposal.
    4 minutes to look at the first proposal again.
    1 hour to google the PIs to see what kind of nutjob writes a thing like that.
    30 minutes to read the third proposal properly.
    2 hours to write short reviews, where most of that is revising the same 2 sentences over and over so they don't come across as unreasonably rude.
    Done!

  • Orac says:

    Heh. I actually used to know Toni Scarpa. He was the chairman of the department where I was a graduate student and got my PhD. back in the 1990s. His signature is on my PhD. Suffice it to say, he's a very political guy.

  • Dr. Feelgood says:

    I have interacted with him several times on some controversial review issues. He is essentially, a douchebag more interested in protecting his fiefdom rather than improving review.
    Doc F.

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