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Posts Tagged ‘federal funding’


Funding Research by Lottery?: How Lucky Do You Feel After Submitting a Grant

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

A recent article in Nature: “Science Funders Gamble on Grant Lotteries” discusses an odd twist to the anxiety most researchers feel after submitting grants to an agency.  Now, along with the hours of fretting over details and verbiage in a grant application, it appears that not only great science, but the luck of the draw may be necessary to get your work funded.  The article, by David Adam, discusses the funding strategy of the Health Research Council of New Zealand, which since 2015, has implemented a strategy of awarding grants through random selection.  Although limited in scope and size (mainly these grants are on very highly speculative and potentially transformative research and awards are usually less that $150,000 NZD) was meant to promote the applicants in submitting more risky ideas that are usually submitted in traditional peer reviewed grants.

Random chance will create more openness to ideas that are not in the mainstream

–  Margit Osterloh, economist at University of Zurich

Margit also mentions that many mid-ranking applications which are never funded could benefit from such a lottery system.

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SSFS) is also experimenting with this idea of random selection.  The Health Research Council states the process in not entirely random.  A computer selects the projects at random based on a random number generator.  A panel then decides if they are a reasonably good and well written application.

Some researchers have felt this random process could help eliminate much bias that can be baked into the traditional peer review process.  However there are many who feel the current process of peer review panels are a necessary and rigorous step in the granting process, analyzing applications which would most likely have the best chances to succeed based on the rigor of the proposed science.

However Osterloh feels that the lottery idea produces a humbling effect. As Margit said

If you know you have got a grant or a publication which is selected partly randomly, then you will know very well you are not the king of the Universe

Humility in science: a refreshing idea.  However the lottery idea will not mean that scientists need not prepare a careful and well written application.  Applications that are ranked very low would not be in the lottery.  However, if one feels lucky, maybe the obscene hours of worrying about each sentence written, or that figures for preliminary data should be altered at the 11th hour before submission might be a thing of the past.

Of course if you are a lucky person.

 

 

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Upcoming SBIR Webinars and Conferences: May 2016

Abbreviated Phase I Proposal Preparation Workshop, and National SBIR Conference – Washington, DC

Date
May 23, 2016 08:00 AM
Location
Washington, District Of Columbia
Contact Name
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Contact Phone
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Event Website
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Files:
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Description:

Abbreviated Phase I Proposal Preparation Workshop, and National SBIR Conference

Washington, DC, May 23-25, 2016

This is an important event for anyone serious about competing in the SBIR/STTR programs. It is a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives of the awarding agencies, and to learn the latest and greatest about the SBIR/STTR programs.  We will be there, offering our half-day, abbreviated Phase I proposal preparation workshop as part of the preconference events on May 23rd.

Contact wenning@techconnect.org(link sends e-mail) for more information or to register

NSF SBIR/STTR Webinar

Date

May 16, 2016 12:00 PM

Location

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Contact Name

Lindsey Hagmaier

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Contact Email

LHagmaier@mt.gov(link sends e-mail)

Webinar Website

Go to Webinar Website (link is external)

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Description:

NSF SBIR/STTR Informational Webinar

 

Tune in to this free informational webinar to learn about the NSF SBIR/STTR Program directly from the Program Director, just in time for the current solicitation(link is external) (closing June 16, 2016).

Also, hear firsthand from a recent SBIR Phase I grantee about their experience with the application process and what SBIR funding means for her innovation.

 

Register here:

 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/538480695941136386

How to Explore Commercial Markets for Innovative Ideas

Date
May 17, 2016 11:00 AM
Location
Webinar ,
Contact Name
Rebecca Norman
Contact Phone
(501) 683-7700
Files:
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Description:

Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Eastern, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Central

Hosted by the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC). Innovative entrepreneurs will learn how to explore market opportunities for their new, research-based product or service ideas. This webinar will also address how researchers can communicate effectively with potential project partners and customers to support development of quality Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposals.

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