Friday, July 29, 2016

When Doctors Have Conflicts of Interest

The New York Times
Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D.
June 29, 2016

My mother-in-law is an impressive woman.

At the age of 77, she still maintains a garden the size of my entire backyard, on the three acres of land she and my father-in-law, now 81, share in rural western Pennsylvania.

She does not tolerate stasis, and anytime my father-in-law collapses into his plaid armchair in front of the television, she appears on the scene within a minute or two, barks at him that there will be plenty of time to rest when they’re in the old age home, grabs the remote control, and turns the television off while simultaneously giving him another task to perform.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Columbia University to Pay $9.5 Million to Settle Fraud Charges

The Washington Post
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
July 14, 2016

The Justice Department said Thursday that Columbia University has agreed to pay $9.5 million to resolve allegations that it improperly charged the National Institutes of Health for facilities and administrative costs on more than 400 federal grants.

Prosecutors say the Ivy League school inflated the amount of money owed for use of facilities from July 2003 to June 2015. Universities are allowed to charge a higher rate for research conducted on campus to offset maintenance and operations expenses. Although Columbia faculty carried out federally sponsored research in buildings owned by the state of New York, entitling the school to a lower rate of reimbursement, the university applied the higher rate, according to the complaint.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Universities Take a Knock Post-Brexit

BBC News
Chris Cook
July 5, 2016

European academic bodies are pulling back from research collaboration with UK academics, amid post-Brexit uncertainty about the future of UK higher education.

While post-Brexit Britain might remain inside the European research funding system, academics in other countries are nervous about collaborating with UK institutions.

UK-based academics are being asked to withdraw their applications for future funding by European partners.

Read More…

Monday, July 25, 2016

In Clinical Trials, For-Profit Review Boards Are Taking over for Hospitals. Should They?

July 6, 2016

For years, ethicist Arthur Caplan warned medical researchers that paying businesses to evaluate their clinical trials was a bad idea.

He condemned trials that didn’t rely on hospital or academic review boards — long the gold standard in science — and argued that for-profit review boards were out to make a buck, not protect patients.

Today, Caplan sits on the advisory board of WIRB-Copernicus Group, the largest commercial institutional review board, or IRB, in the country.

He says he had no choice.

Read More…

Monday, July 11, 2016

The U. of California’s Open-Access Promise Hits a Snag: The Faculty

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 7, 2016

Three summers ago advocates of open-access publishing scored a major victory when the University of California’s Academic Senate voted to make research articles produced by faculty members across the 10-campus system freely available.

Now that big win looks less than overwhelming.

Despite the faculty vote, only about 25 percent of professors system wide are putting their papers into a state-created repository that allows free outside access. The majority, said Christopher M. Kelty, a professor of information studies and anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles who helped lead the open-access effort, appear indifferent. "They don’t know about it, they don’t really care about it," Mr. Kelty said. "They publish their work, and they just go on doing what they do."

Read More…

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How Are You Doing with Those Grant Submission New Year’s Resolutions?

National Institutes of Health
Office of Extramural Research
Mike Lauer
June 30, 2016

Back in January we talked about whether there is an advantage to working up to the last minute and submitting your grant application on the deadline. From the perspective of review outcomes, there was no advantage. In fact, applications submitted at the last minute seemed somewhat less likely to be discussed.
Need another reason to apply early (by early we mean days, not hours, before a deadline)? We still see applications that fail to be completed in time for the due date, and as a result have to wait another round to be considered for funding!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Working Papers of the Week: July 1, 2016

Welcome to Working Papers of the Week! In this new RAO Blog feature, we’ll be posting information about the working papers posted to our site over the past week. Our goal is to highlight the valuable and interesting research Kennedy School faculty members are doing here and abroad.

This week in working papers:

Total Economic Valuation of the National Park Service Lands and Programs: Results of a Survey of The American Public
Haefele, Michelle, John Loomis, and Linda J. Bilmes

Introduction: "This paper presents the first-ever comprehensive estimate of the total economic value of the National Parks Service. The estimate covers administered lands, waters, and historic sites as well as NPS programs, which include protection of natural landmarks and historic sites, partnerships with local communities, recreational activities and educational programs. Our estimate of the total economic value to the American public is $92 billion. Two-thirds of this total ($62 billion) is for National Park lands, waters and historic sites; the remaining $30 billion is attributed to NPS Programs. The estimate, which is based on very conservative assumptions, includes not only the value attributed by visitors to the parks, but also a significant “non-use” or “existence” value. This is the value derived by the public from simply knowing that NPS assets are protected for current and future generations, regardless of whether or not they actually choose to visit."

To read the full working paper, click here.

For more information on the background of this important study, view its coverage in the HKS News and HKS Magazine.

Don’t miss out on our faculty’s other recent working papers! Browse our latest faculty working papers by number or follow RAO on Twitter at @HKS_Research to stay in the loop.