Archive for the 'Uncategorized' category

Your Grant in Review: Scientific Premise

May 28 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

I am starting to suspect that the Scientific Premise review item will finally communicate overall excitement/boredom to the applicant. This will be something to attend closely when deciding to revise an application or just to start over. 

17 responses so far

May 4th

May 04 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

4 responses so far


Apr 22 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

If you have a laboratory that has one postdoc, one grad student and on average has two undergrad volunteers most of the time, you don't run a two person lab. You run a four person lab.

Reflexively appealing to how they have to be trained in a ploy to pretend you aren't using their labor is nonsense.

119 responses so far

Ridiculous shit I actually say

Apr 15 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

HAHAHHHA. I am so full of myself  today 
I actually said this 

It's like cult rescue though. You don't try to rehab the head, you try to get the innocents out b4 the FlavorAde is poured

(Yes, it was a discussion of Glamour culture of science. As if you couldn't guess.)

5 responses so far

Representative Images

Apr 15 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

New rule: Claims of a "representative" image should have to be supported by submission of 2 better ones that were not included.

It works like this.

Line up your 9 images that were quantified for the real analysis of the outcome. In the order by which they appear to follow your desired interpretation of the mean effect.

Your "representative" image is #5. So you should have to prove your claim to have presented a representative image in peer review by providing #8 and #9.

My prediction is that the population of published image data would get a lot uglier, less "clear" and would more accurately reflect reality.

55 responses so far


Feb 24 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

In the interest of eliciting the most hilarious hypocritical illogic from the Republicans, Obama should nominate .....?

My nominee is Senator Lindsay Graham.

29 responses so far

Repost: If you are going to talk about "tiers", then you'd better own that

We have been talking about the scientific journal ecosphere in the context of Michael Eisen's push to get more biomedical scientists to use pre-print servers to publicize their work prior to publication in a traditional journal. This push, recently aided and abetted by Leslie Vosshall, exposes a deep divide in the understanding of the broad scope of science. It is my view that part of the reason the elite (both are HHMI funded investigators, eliteness gets no better in the US) have trouble understanding the points made by us riffraff is related to the fact they don't understand the following. The main issue is that the elite are working at the first tier level. Second tier is a function not of their science but of the competition for limited resources. Any farther down the chain and it is all the same to them - they really have no understanding of how life works for those who operate in the Tiers below.

This post originally appeared on the blog 11 Feb 2013.

SevenTierCakeOccasionally during the review of careers or grant applications you will see dismissive comments on the journals in which someone has published their work. This is not news to you. Terms like "low-impact journals" are wonderfully imprecise and yet deliciously mean. Yes, it reflects the fact that the reviewer himself couldn't be bothered to actually review the science IN those paper, nor to acquaint himself with the notorious skew of real world impact that exists within and across journals.

More hilarious to me is the use of the word "tier". As in "The work from the prior interval of support was mostly published in second tier journals...".

It is almost always second tier that is used.

But this is never correct in my experience.

If we're talking Impact Factor (and these people are, believe it) then there is a "first" tier of journals populated by Cell, Nature and Science.

In the Neurosciences, the next tier is a place (IF in the teens) in which Nature Neuroscience and Neuron dominate. No question. THIS is the "second tier".

A jump down to the IF 12 or so of PNAS most definitely represents a different "tier" if you are going to talk about meaningful differences/similarities in IF.

Then we step down to the circa IF 7-8 range populated by J Neuroscience, Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Demonstrably fourth tier.

So for the most part when people are talking about "second tier journals" they are probably down at the FIFTH tier- 4-6 IF in my estimation.

I also argue that the run of the mill society level journals extend below this fifth tier to a "the rest of the pack" zone in which there is a meaningful perception difference from the fifth tier. So.... Six tiers.

Then we have the paper-bagger dump journals. Demonstrably a seventh tier. (And seven is such a nice number isn't it?)

So there you have it. If you* are going to use "tier" to sneer at the journals in which someone publishes, for goodness sake do it right, will ya?

*Of course it is people** who publish frequently in the third and fourth tier and only rarely in second tier, that use "second tier journal" to refer to what is in the fifth or sixth tier of IFs. Always.

**For those rare few that publish extensively in the first tier, hey, you feel free to describe all the rest as "second tier". Go nuts.

11 responses so far

NCI will ease that difficult transition to postdoc

I am still not entirely sure this is not an elaborate joke.

The purpose of the NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) is to encourage and retain outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers. The award will facilitate the transition of talented graduate students into successful cancer research postdoctoral appointments, and provide opportunities for career development activities relevant to their long-term career goals of becoming independent cancer researchers.

The need for a transition mechanism that graduate students can apply for is really unclear to me.

Note: These are open to non-citizens on the appropriate visa. This is unlike the NRSA pre- and post-doc fellowships.

27 responses so far

CV alt metrics and Glamour

Nov 19 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Putting citation counts for each paper on the academic CV would go a long way towards dismantling the Glamour Mag delusion and reorient scientists toward doing great science rather than the "get" of Glam acceptance.

41 responses so far

NIH Grant Stylings: Preliminary Data

Nov 06 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

In the golden days of yore, when the research plan stretched to 25 pages, the Preliminary Data had a specific place. You created a header and put it inbetween the Background and the Research Plan.


In the latest version of the NIH application there is no explicit place and the headers more or less match the review criteria- Significance, Innovation and Research Strategy (which maps to Approach).

I had heard of people who sprinkled their Preliminary Data figures all across the app even in the old days but I can't remember ever trying it. With the new application, however, it just made sense to me. 

Some figures are Background/Significance and some figures are really just showing technical ability for that tricky assay used in Aim 3. Some speak directly to the Innovation.

So I spread the figures around when I think they do the most good. 

Isn't this what everyone is doing now? Have you seen other approaches? 

22 responses so far

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