Writedit over at MWE&G has some advice for New Investigators from a NCI program officer. One salient point was

She spent a bit of time on what remains a controversial issue at the NIH, but her stance was clear: new PIs should concentrate on crafting and submitting a very competitive R01 rather than divert their effort to R21 or R03 proposals. Neither of the latter are renewable, and neither are appropriate “starter” grants on the road to independence.

I totally and completely agree and in fact will underline this by pointing out that if you go for these dinky mechanisms when what you really need is a R01 you are possibly setting yourself up for failure. It takes essentially as much time to prepare a R21 or R03 application as it does an R01 app. They are suffering the same revise-and-resubmit fate as well as the same dismal funding rates. Perhaps slightly better but not enough to make it worth it. And you don’t “have” to… Read the rest of this entry »