Why you should check study section rosters

Jan 29 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Convo on teh twits:

Stunned noobPI that they needed to be checking your standing study section roosters. http://t.co/iNUNbH1qsV

— Namaste, Ish(@Namaste_Ish) January 29, 2015

.@Namaste_Ish you know new PIs that don't know to check study section rosters? Srsly?

— Drug Monkey (@drugmonkeyblog) January 29, 2015

@drugmonkeyblog @Namaste_Ish please elaborate what you check for. I've not found it helpful personally.

— Anne Carpenter (@DrAnneCarpenter) January 29, 2015


Why? Because while you will not know who you reviewers are, everyone on the SS has a vote on your grant. You need to know who is evaluating you. You need to read at least abstracts of their pubs. You need to know what meetings they go to.

Now this may be distasteful playing of the game to you. You may feel that this kind of politics is beneath you, and lacking in honor. Fuck that shit.

Do you want to be funded or not? There is a meeting I go to, not every year, but every so often. Lots of people on my study section show up. I hope they come to my /my students talks. I certainly go to theirs. I keep track of what they are working on. One of the most damning critiques of a proposal is "this has been done before and obviously this PI is less than rigorous in their review of the literature".

Finally, this is a way to learn something new. Get out of your little warm intellectual pigpen, and think about new ideas. You do not need to waste a lifetime reading their stuff/going to meetings. But, folks, this is a team sport. You belong to a community. The benefits may not be immediately obvious, and the help may be down the road, but its there.

4 responses so far

  • drugmonkey says:

    And even if the ad hocs change from round to round, there is a sense you can get for what type of ad hoc is likely to show up. So view the three meeting rosters in addition to the empaneled roster.

  • Anne Carpenter says:

    Totally agree you should check it, but the depth of checking depends on the context. I tend to apply to Technology/software study sections, though, and these IMO are a different style that does not warrant such intense study and effort. The sections are a variety of bright people who develop technology and appreciate technology... They can be considered as a group rather than written for specifically. At most there are just a couple, often ad hoc, that are actually in your field. But yes, in generai, this is absolutely good advice.

  • Namesaste_Ish says:

    I would also add now that I have more than 140 characters that looking at what your study section wants (from their description) and going thru Reporter to see who is funded by what study section will help you identify gaps in the panels scientific portfolio. If you are working on worm models and your study section already has 13 funded grants on ACh receptors and their charge is to study all neurotransmitters, its best to go for the hole in the field. There's a lot of pressure on program officers to make sure they have a portfolio of grants that meets the needs set forth by council and the NIH.

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    Knowing who's on the roster has nothing to do with schmoozing or whatever. It's about knowing your fucken audience so you can write a grant that speaks their fucken language.

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