ERV was recently musing on the fate of trainees following the death of a lab head (Principal Investigator; PI). As part of this she wondered about the fate of the grant funding:

Who would take over his research? You cant win a grant and say “Wait, I dont want it. Im gonna give it to Steve down the hall”, and you cant just say “Well, Jims dead. Might as well give the money to Susan.”

Actually, you can.
This little misconception of ERV’s is relatively common because we talk about NIH grants as if the PI in charge owns it in some way. S/he does not, technically. It is important for transitioning scientists to understand this because this is a fairly frequent (if unheralded) mechanism for making the transition to independence.

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