The power bestowed upon the reviewers to disqualify new ideas based on "unpublished" observations has to be removed from the process, unless applicants ignored peer-reviewed-published information. An example of weakness in a summary statement: "Therefore, it is unlikely that the proposed project will lead to new technologies or applications of knowledge that contribute . . . to the mission or health and welfare of the American people." The RFA did not state this condition, and the aims and hypothesis were ignored, but the panel was clear on what I should do. If agencies want investigators to research reviewers' ideas, put these ideas on the RFA. Otherwise allows others into uncharted territory regardless of how rough or virgin it may be!
Anonymity: The system encourages reviewers' irresponsibility rather than accountability. Summary statements would become constructive if reviewers have to defend their opinions. I am not alone in saying that many would...
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