GrantRant V

Jan 08 2013 Published by under NIH Careerism, Peer Review

A grant review subculture that has been established from sub fields in which not much happens between grant submission and review has difficulty dealing with an exploding topic.

In the general case, it seems slightly unfair to kill a proposal over the four papers that have appeared after the poor sucka PI submitted the application.

8 responses so far

  • Rosco says:

    This is why it is ridiculous that traditional NIH (et al) funding mechanisms fund very specific "projects". The grant review process is not compatible with an instantaneous redirection of a project's focus due to new developments only realized, say, 1 month before a study section meets.

    The Research Project Grant should be viewed as a Thesis, and the review panel should judge whether or not the applicant has demonstrated suitable knowledge and expertise to lead such an endeavor--whether or not they perform the specific experiments listed in the Research Project Grant.

  • anonymous postdoc says:

    Im working on my K99 application right now and I find it extremely helpful to have all this ranting, somehow providing simultaneous distraction and mentoring. So cheers. However, it has caused me to idly wonder about time-of-year effects in grant submission and review, since I can imagine that the crappier weather, seasonal depression, and increased rates of illness occurring during winter study section meetings may subtly negatively influence reviewers (indeed drive them into ranting) in a way they would be loathe to admit.

    As far as I'm aware, all NIH success data is divided on a FY basis, but have I missed anything where they examined relative proportions of submissions or relative success rates around the three major deadlines for R01? I'm quite sure the effect is small, though there should be enough data to test for it over the last few fiscal years. And sometimes these kinds of effects are larger than we would like to admit: http://www.pnas.org/content/108/17/6889

    One way of motivating myself on this Sisyphean task is to tell myself (based on no evidence) that 1) the February deadline will have slightly fewer applications that 2) will be reviewed by a slightly more optimistic set of eyes in early summer.

  • Dave says:

    As you know DM, this happened to me although I don't think it affected my score much, but I don't have the summary statement yet. It took precisely 6 months from submission to posting my score and I think that is an unacceptably long time, regardless of the circumstances (I had a reviewer conflict). If you are in a working in an area where nothing happens at all for 6 months, you are probably not tackling the exciting questions!!!

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Dave-

    If you are working in a dime a dozen area where any one of 20 labs could do the work...why do we need *you* again?

  • Dave says:

    You're a pain in the arse DM :). Anyone tell you that (except for PP)? I want to punch you in the nuts.

  • As far as I'm aware, all NIH success data is divided on a FY basis, but have I missed anything where they examined relative proportions of submissions or relative success rates around the three major deadlines for R01?

    More importantly, they should analyze the success rates for grants typeset in Georgia versus those typeset in Arial.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Yes PP, that is indeed the most pressing issue facing the data miners at the CSR.

  • physioprof says:

    Actually, I hope they don't, so the dumshittes writing in Arial leave money on the table for MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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