Nature News' Zoë Corbyn says that "as funding environments toughen, submitting more proposals is the best way to win grants." In a recent PLoS One analysis, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee's Paul Roebber and David Schultz at the University of Manchester and the University of Helsinki assessed the conditions under which submitting as many proposals as possible would be an efficient strategy. Corbyn says they found that when funding success rates fall below 15 percent, it's probably best to flood the proposal market. She adds that Roebber and Schultz drew upon game theory to determine "whether to approach scarcity in funding by working collectively to submit fewer proposals or working individually to submit more." Roebber tells Nature that as success rates dip, "inefficiencies in the system take over," and added that "the only way to counteract them is by putting in more and more proposals."
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May 11, 2011