The blogosphere has some advice for those researchers who find themselves frustrated by the NIH grant funding review system: get over it. Blogger DrugMonkey responded to a reader who asked if he could appeal a review he'd received which resulted in him being denied funding for a project. The investigator was angry because it seemed one reviewer managed to drag down his score. DrugMonkey had a different take on it. It's "generally ridiculous," he blogs, to claim that one reviewer could tank your chances of funding in a way that is unfair or shows a flaw in the system. If one reviewer manages to convince an entire panel that the project isn't worthy of funding, that's not a flaw, DrugMonkey says. If the other members of the panel were really convinced the project deserved funding, one reviewer probably wouldn't be able to persuade them otherwise. Comrade PhysioProf agrees, relating this bit of advice he recently gave someone with a similar problem. "I told her she needed to ... write the thing up in a different way. If you can't think of at least five different angles from which to propose a research project that are responsive to the stated interests of at least one [reviewer], then you have a serious creativity and cleverness problem," he writes.
The System Isn't Broken
Mar 13, 2010