Sidebar: The RGA's Committee's Recommendation

CREATIVE BOOST: An alternative proposal from UCSF’s Keith Yamamoto adds innovation into the peer-review equation.
As officials at the National Institutes of Health consider a proposal to change the peer-review process by which grant applications are considered, researchers offer divided opinions on whether the plan would help or hinder science. A highly disputed issue -- whether the changes would foster creative, innovative science -- has led to a much-discussed alternative offered by a member of an NIH advisory committee.

While calling the current system good, NIH is seeking a better way to judge the more than 30,000 applications it receives annually. The process now in place has come under fire by scientists who are upset over the way the agency distributes NIH's limited research funds. Many feel it discourages the pursuit of cutting-edge research in favor of research with "guaranteed" results.

"The applicant community --...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!