Drawing on Eric Drexler's post at Metamodern, Sheril Kirshenbaum looks at the age distribution of investigators receiving NIH grants. Drexler points out that young scientists have had an increasingly difficult time receiving funding and that "our iconic images of great scientists distort perceptions of age and accomplishment." Kirshenbaum adds that the funding shift toward older scientists may be due to past hiring trends and the move toward not naming postdocs as PIs on grants. "We must remember that many complex factors are at play influencing the initial graph," she says. "The real question to consider is whether such grants [from NIH supporting postdocs] are adequately funding early tenure track professors."
The Great Funding Shift
Dec 22, 2009