It has been a couple of years since I wrote this one and I was wondering to myself if study sections have been de-clustered. If you have an odd moment (and really, what else would you be doing the next couple of days) scan through your favorite study sections’ funded grant output and see how clustered those sections are at present. This post went up Dec 7, 2007 on the old blog.

We’ve been discussing the degree to which insular sub-groupings of scientists protect and maintain themselves and their peers through the grant review process. We’re using “bunny hopping” thanks to whimple and the NIH CSR calls this “clustering“. Note upfront that this analysis and discussion does not necessarily require overt malicious intent on anyone’s part. The presentation at the recent PRAC meeting from Don Schneider identified the IFCN (Integrative, Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience) group of study sections as top suspects in the “clustering” phenomenon. Can we derive a little more information one wonders?

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