Thursday, June 29, 2017

A New Theory on How Researchers Can Solve the Reproducibility Crisis: Do the Math

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
June 28, 2017

From the beginning, it seemed like a difficult prediction.

In an article published last October in Nature, three researchers affiliated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City said they had crunched the numbers and concluded that humans will never consistently live much beyond 115 years.

"From now on, this is it," one of the three authors, Jan Vijg, a professor of genetics at Albert Einstein, told The New York Times one of several major news outlets that helped promote the sobering news. "Humans will never get older than 115."

Read More…

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Universities Are Getting a Lesson in the Value of Early Training to Apply for Grants

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
June 27, 2017

As a doctoral student at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in the 1980s, James L. Olds had an adviser who taught him how to apply for federal grants by including him directly in the process.

"I was very lucky" to have that comparative advantage, said Mr. Olds, whose early training in seeking grant support furthered his subsequent progress to become a college professor and, now, head of the biological-sciences directorate at the National Science Foundation.
But many other research professors at American universities don’t provide their graduate students the same training that his adviser did.

Read More…

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Help Social and Behavioral Research Findings Make Their Way into Practice Settings

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Blog
June 15, 2017

“Why fund behavioral intervention research if the interventions found effective are not adopted in practice?” This was a recurring question I heard when meeting with various National Institutes of Health (NIH) institute and center directors to seek their input on the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) 2017-21 Strategic Plan.

Their perspective is consistent with what our field has acknowledged and worked to address: Health researchers in general – and behavioral and social sciences researchers specifically – cannot be satisfied with leaving our research findings at the water’s edge and hoping these findings will be adopted into practice.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Open Opportunities to Do Collaborative Research

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Blog
June 14, 2017

The National Institutes of Health is the world's biggest public funder of biomedical research, investing more than $32 billion each year—and a sizable amount of that money can be tapped by mental health and behavioral science researchers, especially those who are interested in collaborating with other disciplines.

Several major initiatives welcome a transdisciplinary perspective, even if on the surface they don't sound terribly psychological. Among them are the All of Us/Precision Medicine Initiative, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) and the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Journals’ Retreat From Data-Sharing Mandate Puts Onus on Universities and Government

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
June 12, 2017

A year ago the world’s leading medical-journal editors announced plans to require their authors to share with other scientists the data associated with their published articles about clinical trials.
Those editors have now backed off, and instead are predicting an even longer wait before such a mandate actually comes to pass.

Monday, June 12, 2017

NIH Abandons Plan to Limit Per-Person Grant Awards

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
June 8, 2017

Facing protests from senior scientists, including members of its own advisory board, the National Institutes of Health on Thursday abandoned a plan to help younger researchers by imposing a general three-grant limit.
Instead, the NIH is moving forward with a more complicated formula in which scientists who win a first grant under a program designed to aid first-time applicants will get priority for their second grant.
"We are shifting the approach quite substantially," the NIH’s director, Francis S. Collins, told a gathering of his advisory panel, a collection of about 15 senior academic researchers that largely opposed his first plan.