August 31, 2014

3:59 PM | Writing Process
I start a paper draft very early in the process. Sometimes it is started before even a single bit of data has been collected. It starts, often, with some literature that I am reading that starts to gel an idea. So I'll jot down the author/date and some words related to my thinking at the […]

August 29, 2014

6:53 PM | Exposure IS training
from a Twitt: @drugmonkeyblog Actually PI #1 is passing around drafts of upcoming R01 renewal. So there's exposure, but not formal "training". — Kate Stafford (@kastacholamine) August 29, 2014 Let me explain something to you trainees. You are not undergraduate students anymore. You are not given a syllabus, quizzes and office-hour responses to "Is this […]
6:22 PM | Professor Isis on Trainees and Writing
At Isis the Scientist blog: My perception is that graduate students and postdocs have a skewed view of what constitutes scientific productivity. It is very easy at that stage to feel “productive” by going to the lab and generating data because, typically, they feel confident in the experimental skills they’ve established by the time they’re […]

August 27, 2014

2:52 PM | Thought of the Day
Cling fiercely to what you want to do with your life and what kind of person you want to be. View it through your expectations of yourself and your view of what constitutes a good person. Defend that against all comers.

August 22, 2014

10:07 PM | Your Grant in Review: When they aren't talking to you.
Does "appropriately ambitious" on an ESI grant mean "ambitious enough" (go big) or "easy there, tiger" (don't overreach)? — Michael Hendricks (@MHendr1cks) August 22, 2014 It is always good to remember that sometimes comments in the written critique are not directed at the applicant. Technically, of course these comments are directed at Program Staff in […]
4:20 PM | Your Grant in Review Reminder: Research Study Sections First
One key to determining the right study section to request is to look on RePORTER for funded grants reviewed in your study sections of interest. Sometimes this is much more informative than the boilerplate description of the study section listed at CSR.

August 21, 2014

5:28 PM | New Projects for Donors Choose Drive for #Ferguson
Wow. Three Donors Choose projects I posted yesterday were completely funded in less than 15 hours. I am delighted so many of you found this opportunity to help the communities around Ferguson Missouri attractive. If you missed out on contributing, never fear, there are new opportunities to help. Please also pass this suggestion along to […]
1:58 AM | Donors Choose Drive for #Ferguson
As you know, Dear Reader, I am a big fan of Donors Choose and the opportunity to help out classrooms in need around these here tax-phobic United States of America. A mention on Twitter triggered me to realize we could help out, slightly, with the current dismal situation in Ferguson Missouri by looking for some […]

August 20, 2014

7:58 PM | You came so close, Nature Editorial staff.
A news bit in Nature overviews Richard Nakamura's plans to investigate the disparity in grant funding that was identified in the Ginther report in 2011. See here, here, here for blog comment on Gither et al. Nakamura is, of course, the current director (pdf) of the Center for Scientific Review, the entity at NIH that […]
7:20 PM | Peer Review: Advocates and Detractors Redux
A comment on a recent post from Grumble is a bit of key advice for those seeking funding from the NIH. It's probably impossible to eliminate all Stock Critique bait from an application. But you need to come close, because if you don't, even a reviewer who likes everything else about your application is going […]
6:15 PM | Note
I want you Readers to succeed in your careers and your grant seeking. You are not bothering me* in the least when you email with questions. Really. __ *I may ignore you but mostly I respond.

August 18, 2014

7:46 PM | On coming up with multiple ideas for R01 proposals
A question to the blog asked the perennial concern that is raised every time I preach on about submitting a lot of proposals. How does one have enough ideas for that? My usual answer is a somewhat perplexed inability to understand how other scientists do not have more ideas in a given six month interval […]

August 17, 2014

5:13 PM | Thought of the day
Your failure to achieve exactly the career outcomes that you desire in academic science is 100% because the systems are broken and you are undermined by nefarious opponents using underhanded tricks to block you. ___ H/T: he knows who

August 15, 2014

4:00 AM | Reflections on a K99/R00 datapoint
The recent analyses and discussions of gender differences in the K99/R00 transition to R01 rate are reflection provoking: as one of the 2008 K99 cohort datapoints, and (if you hadn't figured it out) a woman, I have recently succeeded in getting an R01 (April 2014). I am navel gazing because I am trying to figure […]

August 14, 2014

6:18 PM | I'm in my lane
One of the best tweets respecting the situation in Ferguson Missouri this week came from music star John Legend. @IBNNNEWS human. citizen. taxpayer. i'm in my lane, homie. — John Legend (@johnlegend) August 14, 2014 Having an opinion, and expressing them, about the horrible things going on in our society is a rightful role of […]
3:28 PM | SfN's new eNeuro journal will attempt double blind peer review
From the author guidelines: eNeuro uses a double-blind review process, which means the identities of both the authors and reviewers are concealed throughout the review process. In order to facilitate this, authors must ensure their manuscripts are prepared in a way that does not reveal their identity. And how do they plan to accomplish this […]

August 13, 2014

8:21 PM | On "transactional" science
Important questions from Paul Knoepfler: In today’s transactional dominated world, scientists are spending an increasing proportion of their time basically fundraising. Writing grants. Honing grantsmanship. Doing experiments specifically for grant preliminary data rather than driven by transformative ideas. Working the philanthropy side of things. By contrast, transformative activities would include these kinds of things: reading, […]

August 12, 2014

12:57 PM | Replication costs money
I ran across a curious finding in a very Glamourous publication. Being that it was in a CNS journal, the behavior sucked. The data failed to back up the central claim about that behavior*. Which was kind of central to the actual scientific advance of the entire work. So I contemplated an initial, very limited […]

August 11, 2014

10:33 PM | Women in the R00 phase don't apply for R01s as frequently as men
Sally Rockey: A specific issue that recently has recently created interesting conversations in the blogosphere is whether female K99/R00 awardees were less likely to receive a subsequent R01 award compared to male K99/R00 awardees. We at NIH have also found this particular outcome among K99/R00 PIs and have noted that those differences again stem from […]
6:17 PM | On making progress
90% of the progress on my manuscripts and grants takes place during 20% of the time I am ostensibly working on them.

August 08, 2014

4:07 PM | Simple, can't-miss strategy to get a grant from the NIH
Work at it. Chance favors the prepared. You can't win if you don't play the game. Effort matters. Persistence pays off. AND The NIH rewards those that work at it. Sally Rockey finally got around to looking at the per-investigator success rate some time ago. It is higher than the per-application success rates. Jeremy Berg […]

August 07, 2014

7:40 PM | Ebola and ZMapp...A scientist explains
Erica Ollman Saphire (lab website, PubMed, RePORTER) was interviewed on KPBS in San Diego about the use of highly experimental antibody therapy for the US health workers infected with Ebola virus. It's a pretty interesting viewpoint on basic science, translation to humans and what we do when an emergency situation like an infectious disease outbreak […]
4:35 PM | There is no "filter problem" in science
Seriously. It is your job as a scientist to read the literature, keep abreast of findings of interest and integrate this knowledge with your own work. We have amazing tools for doing so that were not available in times past, everything gets fantastically better all the time. If you are a PI you even have […]

August 05, 2014

7:07 PM | It isn't the fraud witchhunt, it's the Glamour culture of science
The Sesai suicide has been deemed the result of an anti-fraud witch hunt by well respected biomedical ethics / conduct of science / publishing / open science dude Michael Eisen. I disagree that this is the proper frame for what happened. First, while I am no fan of the sort of lynch mob behavior that […]
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