Thursday, March 15, 2018

Peer Review in Flux

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
March 4, 2018

Beaten down by technological change and economic pressures, the long-held notion of scientific peer review is losing its status as the "gold standard" measure of scholarly reliability.

The problem facing universities in 2018, however, isn’t so much that peer review has inevitably evolved, but that scientists collectively have failed to respond with a better replacement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

FY 2017 By the Numbers

Open Mike Blog
Mike Lauer
March 7, 2018

We recently released our annual web reportssuccess rates and NIH Data Book with updated numbers for fiscal year 2017. Looking at data across both competing and non-competing awards, NIH supports approximately 2,500 organizations.  In 2017 about 640 of these organizations received funding for competing Research Project Grants (RPGs) which involved over 11,000 principal investigators.
The average size of RPGs increased by over 4%, from $499,221 in FY 2016 to $520,429 in FY 2017. Similarly, in FY 2017 the average size of R01-equivalent awards increased from $458,287 to $482,395 (by over 5%).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gates Foundation Launches $170 Million Gender Equality Initiative

Philanthropy News Digest
March 6, 2018

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $170 million initiative to advance gender equality globally through the economic empowerment of women.
Over the next four years, the foundation's new Gender Equality strategy will focus on connecting women to market opportunities, ensuring that they have access to financial services, and supporting peer groups that build women's collective knowledge, economic power, and voice. Economic power is one of the most promising entry points for gender equality, Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates argues in a post on Quartz. In the post, Gates notes that while fully a third of married women in the poorest countries have no control over household finances, those who do are far more likely than men to spend money on nutritious food, health care, and education; and that when women gain access to a bank account, they work outside the home more, which not only increases their income but changes men's perception of them.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How to Protect Your College’s Research From Undue Corporate Influence

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
February 25, 2018

The upsides of research ties between companies and universities are legendary. Silicon Valley, Route 128, Research Triangle, and their numerous superstar companies with academic roots are leading examples. Annual benefits are now measured in the billions of dollars, thousands of patents, and hundreds of start-up companies.
But corporate bias is a known risk to scientific integrity. And as universities find themselves increasingly enticed by governmental budget cuts to court industry dollars, their eagerness for private-sector partners appears to be outpacing their willingness to set firm rules on ethical boundaries and to investigate when things go wrong.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

10 Tips for Successful Grant Writing

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Lisa Chasan-Taber
February 14, 2018

When professors advise early-career academics on grant writing, we often focus on the common mistakes and pitfalls. But up-and-coming researchers don’t just need advice on what not to do.

They need to know what goes into a successful grant proposal, too. I have some suggestions on that front — that I have gleaned from teaching grant writing for 20 years, and being continually funded by the National Institutes of Health as a principal investigator. Here, then, are my top 10 tips on how to draft a grant proposal that has the best odds of getting funded.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Public Access

NSF 18-041
January 26, 2018

This new notice presents FAQs on public access, including general information on NSF's public access policy and information specifically relevant to principal investigators.

Friday, January 5, 2018

How Facebook Stymies Social Science

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Henry Farrell
January 5, 2018

What exactly was the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election campaign? How widespread was its infiltration of social media? And how much influence did its propaganda have on public opinion and voter behavior?

Scholars are only now starting to tackle those questions. But to answer them, academics need data — and getting that data has been a problem.