wasting money/Crusades for saving Grant Money?

taguebw at wfu.edu taguebw at wfu.edu
Wed Jun 18 13:45:13 EST 1997

In article <33A802B8.5D28 at nospamsalk.edu>, forsburg at nospamsalk.edu wrote:


> There was an article in Science years ago suggesting that
> the productivity per person dropped off in labs over about 10 people
> in size.  It's my personal opinion that the NIH should not
> give additional funding to anyone with 500,000 or more in direct
> costs already.  

>The big guys are cannibalizing the young,
> so I spend way too much time trying to re-write comparitively
> small grants for  nitpickers on the study section and way too 
> little time actually doing  the work!

> -susan, who would like to worry only about doing science for
> a change

I hear this. In the time it's taken me to write and re-write the grants, I
could have done half of the experiments I proposed (But please don't ask
me how many experiments I could have done if I didn't drop into USENET
every day!)

That's a interesting statistic you quote -- drop off of productivity per
person in labs over 10 people. I guess the number that I'd like to see is
something like an aggregate measure of journal impact factor (if one can
believe this is a measure of a good paper) for all the papers from a lab
for one year divided by the amount of direct federal money going to that
lab in a year. This might be a measure of bang for a buck.  

Last, let me say that I scares me a bit that someone at a great place like
the Salk has funding troubles. Not to say that being at a good place
entitles anyone to money, but to be hired by the Salk must mean you're
doing excellent work to begin with, if you don't mind my being a bit
presumptuous. A few reviewers' comments on my grants have included the
statement "I'm not really familiar with the institute so I can't comment
on the institutional capabilities." When panels are looking for some
reason NOT to fund you, statements like that don't help.

My 2 electrons,

Brian, who really should start thinking about the NSF proposal for July.....

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