New NIH forms raise concerns

The new, shortened National Institutes of Health grant applications, designed to make the process easier on applicants and reviewers, may have an unintended downside, some researchers say. Specifically, some critics say the new, shorter forms -- down from 25 to 12 pages for R01 grants -- will favor better writers, making it more difficult for younger investigators to compete for NIH funding. "[The new grant applications] are going to focus people's words, and I do think it will favor better wr

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Dec 7, 2009
The new, shortened National Institutes of Health grant applications, designed to make the process easier on applicants and reviewers, may have an unintended downside, some researchers say.
Specifically, some critics say the new, shorter forms -- down from 25 to 12 pages for R01 grants -- will favor better writers, making it more difficult for younger investigators to compete for NIH funding. "[The new grant applications] are going to focus people's words, and I do think it will favor better writers," said linkurl:Robert Kalb,;http://www.med.upenn.edu/ins/faculty/kalb.htm a University of Pennsylvania neurologist who is also the chair of the NIH's cellular and molecular biology of neurodegeneration study section. Plus, "it frees the experienced investigator to not provide as much feasibility and preliminary data because they can just cite their previous publications." This, Kalb told __The Scientist__, means that applicants with robust publication histories, proven track records of scientific accomplishment, and more experience writing...



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