FEDERAL FUNDING CAPITATION MAXIMUMS

William Tivol tivol at news.wadsworth.org
Wed Jan 3 13:01:06 EST 1996


Bert Gold (bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu) wrote:

: He told me
: that during his 20 year medical school career he had
: "socked away" about $ 1 million in what he called 'endowment'
: by underspending his GRANTS.  THIS, GUYS, IS NOT AND HAS
: NEVER BEEN, LEGAL!!!!!  (Yet, I am certain that it is common
: practice).  It is not HEALTHY, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES FOR
: US YOUNGER PEOPLE, because, IT MEANS THAT MONEY WHICH IS ALLOCATED,
: AND NOT SPENT, IS NOT AVAILABLE TO US NEEDY GUYS OUT HERE.

	Of course, the other side of the coin [:-)] is the use-it-or-lose-it
proposition that unspent $$ go back to the granting agency.  The PI should
be encouraged to save money, and perhaps should be rewarded for that by being
allowed to keep some of the savings (yes, I know there are big problems here).

: Now, we need a rational cap on federal funds allocatable to
: one human being as PI in this country.  I don't know what the
: number should be:  As Alex has pointed out; he is not certain
: either.  I have a feeling $300,000 per year would be sufficient;
: with some method to waive the limit under EXTRAORDINARY conditions,
: but the bottom line is:  GREED IS NOT GOOD and there has been
: TOO MUCH GREED, and not enough ALTRUISM being practiced in
: biology for quite a while now.

	Perhaps a cap on time commitment rather than one on $$.  This would
prevent the 20 grants @ 5% each.  Make the PI commit a minimum fraction of
time to each grant (25%??).  If the work should be funded, there is no easy
arbitrary limit.
				Yours,
				Bill Tivol



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