An opinion bit written by a senior investigator who actually seems to have a brain in his head and is not blinded by selfishness.

The argument that grants should be funded only on the basis of priority scores is fallacious. There is only a rough correlation between the quality of the science in an application and the priority score. As anyone who has ever served on a study section will attest, a host of different–and sometimes scientifically irrelevant–criteria can creep into play when arriving at a priority score, such as whether there are lots of typos in a grant (even the most accomplished scientists are not always great spellers). This is not because reviewers are vindictive or evil. Just that they are emotional and human. Until human judgment is perfected, granting agencies will always need to consider more than the priority score in making funding decisions.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Go Play.
[h/t: @BoraZ]

There’s a new entry up over at the Golden Thoughts blog (she’s a nephrologist, so..yes) that talks about the all important journal Impact Factor, Harold Varmus’ opinion of same and journals gaming the system.

Dr. Varmus pointed out that many of his most significant works appeared in “lesser” journals that served the appropriate audience for the science.

However, like all numbers, the IF can be gamed, and its validity has been questioned:

Dr. Varmus plead for an end to IF insanity.

The IF works about as well right now as the Bowl Championship Series algorithm does for college football.

Ouch, that last one is an insult that goes farther than I ever have.
Go Read.

Some time ago SciWo laid out her approach to developing a proposal for research funding in “Eight Easy Steps“. You can dash over and read it yourself I won’t try to summarize. What emerged in the comments is that people have very different approaches to this topic. For example Comrade PhysioProf opined:

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