Are we crazy?

Check out this report from BusinessWeek magazine. The NIH has recently injected tons of money into healthcare research and are expecting to create 50,000 high-paying jobs (can’t be in medical research…how many lab techs and post-docs are becoming rich from their meager salaries) and to accelerate the pace of drug development yada, yada, yada.

What really intrigued me was the following paragraph:
In a frenzy to access the stimulus funds, researchers submitted thousands of grant applications, with some institutions such as the University of California in Irvine preparing more than 200, according to an April article in Science. Not all applicants concluded the program would help boost the economy.

“I am one of the 21,000 applicants for the NIH Challenge Grant, which will fund roughly 200 grants at a success rate of 1 percent,” Sailen Barik, of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, wrote in a July 7 letter to Science.

Are we nuts??? We spend most of our formative years engaged in the pursuit of higher-education obtaining MScs, PHDs, ABCs. We open labs with grandios ideas of publishing papers in Nature and Science soon to be followed by accolades from our peers and calls for Nobel prize nominations…..

All this money has been injected into our field and only 1% of grants written will be successfully funded! We are a funny bunch, we’re not concerned with such statistics. After all, mastering statistics has never been a strong skill of the classical molecular biologist.

Do you have any crazy stories related to grant writing season? Please do share.

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One Response to “Are we crazy?”

  1. will not reveal says:

    The answer could be YES, and this shows how desperate the faculty are to get funds after experiencing the recent stringent years. I am sure there are not enough experienced people to review that many grants, and god knows who and how they are reviewing those pile of grants. I would like to add that excellent researchers are everywhere in US not just in california or harvard. I am aware of many scientists who graduated from harvard and other top institutes and since they are trying to establish in a different province, they appear not to be the part of the herd to graze. I believe there should be a more uniform, stable and consistent approach in funding to encourage research throughout the country. Hellooo, we are scientists not a bunch of monkeys where when you through food the mightier gets the best, and please don’t adapt Darwin’s and Lamarck’s principles here.

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