Re: How to fix peer review.1 I currently serve on review panels for the Department of Defense Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Programs in breast and prostate cancers. A stated goal of this funding program is to stress innovation. That makes it unlike NIH programs that require extensive preliminary data – typically the first specific aim of the grant – and are looking for the next logical step in a non-controversial research plan. While the DOD research proposal is significantly shorter than NIH (6 vs. 25 pages), a full application can easily run over one hundred pages. With funding rates for DOD Idea grants (analogous to NIH RO1's) dropping to 3% this past cycle, a large number of investigators – not to mention grants administrators and reviewers – waste much valuable time and effort on the application process. The parallels to NIH applicants, with a success rate of around 16%, are...

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