Funding incentives

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Mon Jan 15 13:54:09 EST 1996

On Mon, 15 Jan 1996, Ferland Louis H. wrote:

> I agree with you that the "yes-no" system is much too 
sharp and "phases out" some (many?) of the "good ones". 

Glad that you seem to agree on the main. If yes-no
system will be replaced by some kind of countinuus
curve (sigmoid, or whatever) this will be an 
enormous step forward (to save Big Science from
eventual extinction). Unfortumately, the 
establishement will keep fiercely resisting this
by all the reasons we discussed earlier.  

[ snip ]

> I'm not convinced that *the best* (or anyone, for that matter) will, 
> really thrive and continue to progress without the proverbial carrot: 
> once one has reached the average, there would be nothing more to expect 
> from one's carreer. I really mean carreer-wise: of course, research 
> starts with goals, and attempting to reach those scientific goals is a main 
> stimulant to work hard. However, I think it would be a mistake to remove 
> the "career" incentives. Actually, I'll go further than that: I really 
> think that success should be rewarded. How success is assessed and how it 
> should be rewarded, however, are two further and separate questions.

Sliding scale just is this proverbial carrot you are
talking about. Once again, in ACTUAL terms (costs, processing)
our propasal (basic grant on a sliding scale) is NOT much
different from the existing system. Baddies are going to 
slide dowm, gooddies move up (though a lot of estabishemntsee
is going to get into the first group - THIS is the crux
of the problem).     

I am not against finacial incentive, on the contary. But
I believe that for all practical purposes funding 50 % to
twice the avarge in the area is a very good deal. Of course,
the provision of extra funding should be left for some
exceptional situations, but they truly must be exceptional
and awards only be made when enough publicity builds up
behand the case. (certainly, no secret super-awards).  

I hope on this basis we can work further.


> Dr. Louis H. Ferland
> Centre de Recherche, Hotel-Dieu de Montreal
> Dept de Nutrition, Universite de Montreal
> Phone: (514) 843-2757     FAX: (514) 843-2719

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