The study of model organisms "can elucidate important processes relevant to human health and disease," writes Jeremy Berg at the NIGMS Feedback Loop blog, as a recap of his talk from the Genetics Society of America meeting. (At the time, the Daily Scan covered his talk here.) He adds that "some applicants who use model organisms try to explain the significance of their project by making relatively tenuous links to specific clinical areas. As an alternative, they should consider highlighting the study’s importance to a basic field of biomedical or behavioral research and the reason for using a specific experimental system." This is particularly important as, from an analysis of NIGMS R01 applications, Berg finds "that approach and significance are the most important factors, on average, in determining the overall impact score."
"Makes you salivate for similar analyses from all the other ICs doesn't it?" adds DrugMonkey at his post on the findings.