Grant proposal writing for the life scientist may get easier in 2002 with the filing of a uniform electronic application for noncompetitive grants, but technical and bureaucratic tie-ups delay attempts to bring science funding into the computer age. The National Science Foundation has made strides in this direction by receiving applications electronically via a system called Fastlane, but the agency prints and circulates paper rather than electronic copies once the applications arrive. At the National Institutes of Health, system-wide electronic grants administration remains a distant dream. Yet, some academic institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), are at least on the way to submitting proposals online.

Courtesy Pamela Webb

Pamela Webb

Electronic NIH grant application submissions are at least another year away, says Pamela Webb, director of research and sponsored programs at the Chicago Campus of Northwestern University. Webb is one of 16 members of an NIH...

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