CIRM cuts ten grants

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) linkurl:announced;http://www.cirm.ca.gov/press/pdf/2007/1207007.pdf today that it is eliminating ten grant applications from consideration to avoid breaking its conflict of interest rules regarding grant applications and accompanying letters of support. "CIRM has opted to act conservatively by refraining from considering these applications," the release said, "and the agency will take steps to clarify future requirements for institutiona

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

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Dec 6, 2007
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) linkurl:announced;http://www.cirm.ca.gov/press/pdf/2007/1207007.pdf today that it is eliminating ten grant applications from consideration to avoid breaking its conflict of interest rules regarding grant applications and accompanying letters of support. "CIRM has opted to act conservatively by refraining from considering these applications," the release said, "and the agency will take steps to clarify future requirements for institutional letters of commitment." According to an article in today's __San Francisco Chronicle__, deans at four California universities apparently breached CIRM's conflict of interest rules by submitting letters of support with CIRM grant applications from their respective schools. CIRM did not identify the institutions, which are vying for a cut of $85 million in new faculty awards. This incident follows a previous linkurl:conflict;http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/07/BAOTTQ0JO.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea involving board member and Burnham Institute of Medical Research CEO John Reed. Deans at the University of California, San Francisco, UCLA, the University of Southern California, and...
ting ten grant applications from consideration to avoid breaking its conflict of interest rules regarding grant applications and accompanying letters of support. "CIRM has opted to act conservatively by refraining from considering these applications," the release said, "and the agency will take steps to clarify future requirements for institutional letters of commitment." According to an article in today's __San Francisco Chronicle__, deans at four California universities apparently breached CIRM's conflict of interest rules by submitting letters of support with CIRM grant applications from their respective schools. CIRM did not identify the institutions, which are vying for a cut of $85 million in new faculty awards. This incident follows a previous linkurl:conflict;http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/07/BAOTTQ0JO.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea involving board member and Burnham Institute of Medical Research CEO John Reed. Deans at the University of California, San Francisco, UCLA, the University of Southern California, and the University of California, San Diego are CIRM board members and therefore prohibited from participating in granting activities involving their institutions. The __Chronicle__ article says that "sources close to the grant-making process" have said that grant applications from these four institutions have been flagged for violating CIRM's conflict of interest rules and are in danger of being thrown out. Jesse Reynolds, a policy analyst and CIRM critic, said that conflicts such as these are unsurprising given the fact that the CIRM board is made up of administrators at the very California institutions that are vying for CIRM funding. "The structure of the board, I believe, was a recipe for disaster," he told __The Scientist__.

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