Everyone needs a kick at the G5 can
There’s an interesting piece in the New York Times about a granting controversy at the NIH (thanks @MargaretAinDC for the link). Experienced investigators are having their grant applications rejected in favour of lower-ranking applications from new investigators in a “scientific equivalent of affirmative action”. NIH managers are using the granting system to encourage graduate students and young investigators to make a career in academia, which many feel is anathema to the merit-based system of awarding grants. Apparently, 19% of grants – worth $380-million – were made as “exceptions”, granted outside the ranking system of reviewers. This figure has doubled since 2003. Advocates both for and against the change in policy weigh in with interesting and valid points.
In other news, the dead-horse G5 concept continues to suffer the boots of excluded schools, which all seem committed to getting their kicks. In this edition, the V-P Research from Ryerson criticizes the plan (“the game that bigger universities play”) as do several researchers from Concordia (“a false, divisive distinction… [that] is really backward looking” – thanks to Russell Cooper for the link). Stay tuned for reactions from the rest.