September 30, 2010
It is my favorite time of year for blog-related group action activities.
Welcome back to the science blogosphere’s efforts to raise money to support classroom projects with Donor’s Choose.
As always, the key consideration is that every little bit counts. If prior years are any judge, the grad students in my readership are unbelievably generous, given their limited incomes. Just sayin, PIs, just sayin.
Also, I’ve selected a bunch of projects for your consideration that caught my eye for undoubtedly random and personal reasons. If you don’t see anything that catches your fancy, take a look through other bloggers’ lists or search for yourself at the Donor’s Choose site. No matter what you choose to support, kids win. And that means we all win.
Now, I must confess that I blew it this year. I was distracted working on some grant or other and blasted up my Donor’s Choose challenge page (Science up the Schools 2010!) ahead of the official launch date for the competition between blog collectives/interests. My total bad. but then The Gam launched….and our new MortalBlogEnemies launched…and what was I gonna do? Now PZ has thrown down with his 8 billion pound commentariat.
Sorry Janet. I’m not having a good few weeks here….
September 29, 2010
My feed for writedit’s comments keeps being populated with impatient applicants who have managed to land a decent-looking score on a NIH grant proposal. See this one.
The September council met on the 21st, and I have heard nothing. My R01 was scored at the 12th percentile and I am an ESI. I haven’t heard a thing yet, and my Commons status is “Council Review Completed.”
or this one:
The council meeting was over on September 1, and 3rd, mt erA commons sais `council review completed’. It still says the same. My PO is unreachable (has gone back to India until October 1st week). Does this mean I did not get the grant?
for the type.
This is understandable, given the importance of each grant award to the PI in question. But still, this is not mysterious stuff here folks. The timeline for getting a grant awarded is pretty clear.
Let’s take the current Fall Council rounds as an example. The applicants submitted their proposals back in Feb-Mar in most cases- with continuing submission, HIV-related grants and the odd RFA-related study sections, anywhere from January to mid April. These proposals were reviewed for the most part in Jun-Jul with the applicants receiving their scores about a week after the meeting and the summary statements several weeks later.
So they’ve been waiting a long time already. A borderline score makes things extra important when it comes to information about likely funding. Will the proposal sneak under the wire after all funds are accounted for in the IC? Will it really have zero chance, no matter the theoretical nonzero chance? Should, in point of fact, the applicant busy herself with revising the proposal for November or working on a new one for October? Or start planning preliminary studies for a Feb/Mar submission?
But folks, this part of the process is readily understandable.
Even if you have a 1%ile grant, NIH is not going to tell you it is funded until the Notice of Award is actually prepared. And that takes place in the week or two just before the first possible funding date. In this scenario, December 1. So no, you will not hear anything definitive until late November at the very earliest. Stop driving yourself crazy asking over at writedit’s place if the Commons status line will tell you anything. It won’t.
Now the bad news is that this particular round for funding has an extra-special annoying caveat. It is the first one of the new US federal fiscal year. That means that the ICs can’t commit to new awards until Congress passes the appropriations bill funding the NIH for the next year.
They never seem to get that passed on time and it often waits until Congress returns from vacation in late Jan/early Feb.
Sorry about that but you just have to chill.
September 28, 2010
If you are in a position that Journal of Neuroscience is to be sneered at for an insufficiently high IF, you are a GlamourMag scientist. Topic is irrelevant at that point.
September 27, 2010
September 21, 2010
As might suspect, Dear Reader, I am one who is entirely unable to hold back from drenching trainees in career-relevant advice whenever there is the slightest opportunity. As you also know, I am not in a job category that require regular instruction of general populations of undergraduate students so most of my interactions with them come under the general heading of “lab experience”. One of the things that I tend to blurt out very early in my discussions with a student who wants to work in my group is “You know being a graduate student is a job that pays, right?”.
It turns out that many of them are unaware of this fact.
September 20, 2010
The NIH’s search engine for funded grants, RePORTER, has a new beta feature called “My RePORTER”. Apparently you can save your searches so that you can repeat them later.
Naturally I had to sign up. But I’m thinking over my usual ways of using RePORTER and wondering what the point is. Okay, I guess I might search “Physio-wimple nucleus” now and again and perhaps “Bunny Hopper” (albeit very rarely) and maybe “Namnezus pinqaz” ever so often…
But I’m not sure I need something to store my searches.
I guess my concern would be that this is set up primarily so that the usual Congress Critters can set up their triggers for all the research that they hate, you know, AIDS, sexuality, drug abuse…anything that sounds psychological and easily denigrated, in case they need something to say out on the stump to fire up their base.
September 14, 2010
Pretty good lineup, mostly ex-Scienceblogs.com authors, looks like- Brian Romans of Clastic Detritus is the only one of the six to not previously have blogged at the Sb, as far as I know.
There’s a couple of things that jump out, in addition to the WOW! factor of such interesting writers being pulled together. @KateClancy observed:
Wow, only one woman in the new Wired Science Blog network… it’s like we just don’t do science or write about it…
@KateClancy another trend in new science blog networks is that there aren’t any scientists in them, just journalists.
And naturally, your most humble narrator noticed that the lineup is kinda….pale.
Perhaps these are issues they might care to address with any subsequent recruiting they might do….
September 13, 2010
Dr. Becca has a hilarious story up over at LabSpaces.
My history with Science Enemy goes back around 10 years, when I was presenting my first ever conference poster. She was very interested in my work, and, wanting to be sociable, I casually asked her whose lab she was in. My friendly query was met with an indignant “MINE,” and it’s there I believe the rivalry began. I of course tried to remedy this faux pas with “Oh, it’s just because you look so YOUNG!!” (and truly she did), but my conciliatory words fell on deaf ears; it was on.
Go read because there is one part you will have in your mind forevermore.
But it makes me think. A very long time ago I was interested in memory, from the long-term / short-term and other nomenclature debates, to interesting cases from H.M. forward to the experimental literature. And one part of that interest that was always good for entertainment was the TemporalLobeMemoryWarz. This was a war played out most hilariously every year at the Society for Neuroscience in the late eighties/early nineties or thereabouts. Zola-Morgan, Squire, Mishkin, Murray, Gaffan, Moss and assorted other players would bring their latest arguments for how they had proved
how many angels could dance on the head of a pin exactly what behavioral task in monkeys or humans (or rats, a bit of spillover into rats let us not forget) revealed which amazing new fact about the temporal lobe memory system (hippocampal formation and overlying cortical regions such as PeriRhinal! ParaHippocampal! whoo-whoo!). And they would take shots at each other.
Then they would go back to their labs and publish some papers and create new experiments to prove their hated rivals wrong. Next fall, the cycle would repeat. More data, more potshots and more hot air about memory.
It was AWESOME!
Quite obviously there were big egos involved. Some of the key players are, by near universal acclaim, grade A egotists. And even if they are not, boy, they sure came across that way.
However, I got the firm impression that science, and our understanding of all the functions of the temporal lobe memory structures, was advanced by this process. I’d estimate more so than if it was some boring epiphenomenon that only one lab was interested in pursuing or if everyone stood around doing independent work and politely golf-clapping each other.
Science Enemies are not always a bad thing, even if Dr. Becca’s is a wackaloon.
September 12, 2010
Seriously. You need to read
In which I set up a collaboration between a biologist, a farmer and a chimeric chicken
Everyone will be wetting themselves over the blogging angle but this is just a cool story no matter how it happened.
September 9, 2010
A little reminder and clarification since this seems to be confusing to some at first introduction to the NIH system.
First, from the Biosketch sample (doc):
List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs.
Note that use of the term “selected”?
The 424 Guide makes it even clearer:
September 8, 2010
I am delighted to report that the College on Problems of Drug Dependence has joined the science blogosphere. The CPDD Community Website is a new effort of the Media Relations Committee and intends to be:
a moderated Blog open to comment by CPDD members and invited contributors.
The email notification I received indicates that the comments and the blog will be open to the public so no worries, they are just planning to moderate* the content.
The initial offerings include:
A comment from the new editor of the College’s journal, Drug and Alcohol Dependence on changes to the journal.
A link-heavy update on the proposed NIDA-NIAAA merger.
A response to the McCain-Coburn attack on drug abuse research included in their mid-summer sneer at ARRA projects.
A general post on the politics of substance abuse research.
And what’s this? Little old us in the blogroll? Awwwww.
Well done, CPDD, well done.
[my CPDD related posts are here]
*I’ll work on ‘em DearReader, don’t worry.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
September 4, 2010
In the NIH Grant writing game I think it is fair to say that most people are used to describing what they actually plan to do, experimentally, across the proposed course of funding. The application contains something resembling specific experiments or sets of experiments and the order or priority for conducting those experiments. I have been trained to make this very specific for most of my grants. Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2010
Gerty-Z has a post up musing on the tiredest of StockCritiques™…”The proposal is overambitious…”.
The overall conclusion of the post, and the ensuing comments, was basically that this is totally meaningless and a grant applicant should ignore it. As Comrade PhysioProf put it:
This is pointless. The “too ambitious”/”not ambitious enough” shitte is a red herring.
I agree that this can be a meaningless, throwaway for a reviewer to put in the grant critique. But this doesn’t exactly mean that it is totally meaningless and can be ignored with impunity.