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 […]

July 24, 2014

3:38 PM | Thought of the Day
What fraction of the stuff proposed in funded grants actually gets done after feasibility and field movement come to play?

July 23, 2014

7:04 PM | A can't-miss inquiry to Editor following the initial review of your paper
Dear Editor Whitehare, Do you really expect us to complete the additional experiments that Reviewer #3 insisted were necessary? You DO realize that if we did those experiments the paper would be upgraded enough that we sure as hell would be submitting it upstream of your raggedy ass publication, right? Collegially, The Authors

July 21, 2014

10:46 PM | Sex differences in K99/R00 awardees from my favorite ICs
Datahound has some very interesting analyses up regarding NIH-wide sex differences in the success of the K99/R00 program. Of the 218 men with K99 awards, 201 (or 92%) went on to activate the R00 portion. Of the 142 women, 127 (or 89%) went on to these R00 phase. These differences in these percentages are not […]
6:13 PM | Guest Post: Gender Sensitivity in Neuroscience is a Work in Progress
This is a guest post from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.     This week, the Society for Neuroscience opened its website allowing attendees to book their hotels for their annual meeting. The timing was couldn’t have been worse for the Vanderbilt neuroscience community given that on Monday, a former graduate student of the […]
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