University College London (UCL), which last year linkurl:announced;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55282/ plans to award unorthodox research grants without robust peer review, deadlines, directives, or milestones, has linkurl:chosen;http://www.ucl.ac.uk/media/library/VentureLane its first awardee -- a biochemist who will study the evolutionary switch from simple to more complex cellular structures. The researcher, linkurl:Nick Lane,;http://www.nick-lane.net/index.html was deemed worthy of the funding, called the Venture Research Prize, not by a panel of peer reviewers, but by visiting UCL earth sciences professor (and creator of the award) linkurl:Don Braben;http://www.es.ucl.ac.uk/people/braben/ and UCL vice-provost for research linkurl:David Price.;http://www.ucl.ac.uk/es/people/price.htm After evaluating the submitted proposals, Braben and Price passed along a short list to UCL provost linkurl:Malcolm Grant,;http://www.ucl.ac.uk/provost/ who made the final decision. (The awards are available to UCL staff in any discipline.) Lane, who is also a science writer, book author, and past linkurl:contributor;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/55727/ to __The Scientist__, said in his winning proposal that he will switch "the emphasis in the evolution of complexity...
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