"I guess it must be two o'clock." NSF's Eve Barak was standing at a podium looking out at a large room that was only about one-fifth full. It was day 3 (December 3) of the American Society for Cell Biology's annual meeting, and Barak was here to outline what biologists need to do to receive an NSF grant. During the session (during which more scientists trickled in, making the room half-full), Barak, who has spent the last 20 years helping review biology grant applications to the NSF, said scientists need to think of the agency as something much different from the NIH. That agency's mission is the "science of health," she said, while NSF's is the "health of science." Her tips were clear: "If your project is disease-related, health-related, you should not submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation. " In fact, if health-related proposal has no larger impact...

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