Frequent commentor Physioprof has the call: this made me laugh my ass off:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/317/5840/880/F1

S/he’s referring to a News of the Week in the 17 Aug issue of Science which reports on a survey of NSF applicants and reviewers. Quote from the article authored by J. Mervis.

Sent last fall to everyone who submitted a research proposal to NSF in the past 3 years (more than half were also reviewers), the survey also paints a picture of the typical applicant. He’s someone (three-fourths are men) who underestimates his chances of success but would have a go regardless of the odds. He needs the money primarily to keep his lab intact and is prepared to try and try again if his initial application is rejected. He’s reviewed up to a half-dozen proposals for NSF in the past 12 months, sometimes cutting corners, and thinks that few contain potentially transformative ideas. Yet he believes his own research, if funded, stands a good chance of shattering the existing paradigm in the field.

As Physioprof notes, this accompanying figure tells us all we need to know, say about characters like this.

transformativeresearch.gif

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