A Conversation About the Environment score criterion

July 21, 2010

After NIGMS Director Berg notified me of his most recent regression analysis of the individual criterion scores, the good Comrade PhysioProf had a conversation. As is our wont. It went something like this.

Comrade PhysioProf: The most interesting thing of all the correlations was that investigator and environment are so highly correlated.

Your Humble Narrator: I’m not really surprised. I find environment to be a throw away consideration on panels I’ve been on. people don’t generally propose to do something for which major infrastructure is absent!

CPP: On my last R01 review and my post-doc’s NRSA, they waxed poetic about the fucking environment. In the applications, we went on and on about the scientific environment and named a number of specific faculty members whose expertise would be drawn upon blah, blah, blah. I think that shit can actually work.

YHN: Christ what a load of shit

CPP: Dude, it’s true! We have an outstanding environment! The food trucks outside the med school are some of the finest in all of biomedical research!

CPP: How funny would it be to actually put that in the facilities sections of an application? “The “Alibertos” food truck is only steps away from our laboratory and provides a level of energy dense food that contributes substantially to the likelihood of success of the proposed specific aims.”

YHN: “The “Alibertos” truck returns in evening hours at 6 and 10 pm so that trainees need not leave the lab until 12pm, thus maximizing throughput for these studies”

CPP: I just looked at the instructions for the new application format, and that would actually go in the “Resources” section.

YHN: HAHHAHHAHAAAHAH, you are such a grant geek!!!!!


Additional Reading: http://scienceblogs.com/drugmonkey/2009/12/how_critical_is_the_environmen.php

4 Responses to “A Conversation About the Environment score criterion”

  1. pinus Says:

    I need to get some late night food trucks outside my lab.


  2. Dr Becca Says:

    Hahahahaha! The food trucks where I went to grad school were unparalleled, seriously. I miss them soooo much in my post-doc med center, where all we have is a Mr Softee.

    Also, on my K99, I got lots of comments on how excellent my environment was (food truck availability notwithstanding). Environment matters, man!


  3. drugmonkey Says:

    Yeah but did they come back at 10? Huh?


  4. biochembelle Says:

    I feel like there would need to be a scaling factor to account for the risk of food poisoning, which would reduce trainee productivity. Perhaps a simple formula such as N/C, where N is the number of food trucks in the area and C is the number of closings of said food trucks in the past 12 months due to health/food safety violations…


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