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Bad Grant Reviews

Michael L. Perdue mperdue at ASRR.ARSUSDA.GOV
Tue Apr 18 08:31:36 EST 1995



On 10 Apr 1995 bhjelle at unm.edu wrote:

> I have a question for those of you who have more experience with
> the NIH grant review process than I.
> 
> I just got a review back from an NIH submission that, after 
> acknowledging my lab as "clearly capable of excellent work
> in the field", goes on to devote nearly all of the remaining
> 5 paragraphs to extolling the virtues of a competitor's
> laboratory, and faults us repeatedly for "not coordinating"
> our effort with this larger competitor. At least 5 or 6
> complete sentences contain nothing but glowing comments
> about our competitors' efforts!
> 
> Needless to say our grant did badly.
> 
> My question is this: has anyone heard of such a thing?
> For example, an HIV grant that is acknowledged to be 
> "excellent" but faulted for lack of collaboration with
> certain labs at NCI? A colon cancer grant trashed because
> you did not work with Vogelstein?    
> 
> Any perspective that will help me understand this much
> appreciated!
> 
> Brian
> 
> 
As long as scientific research is seen as a "competition" by either 
reviewers or participants then "big science" will always dominate "little 
science".  Bigger, as we all know is Better!

Mike Perdue







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