What do reviewers react to in reviewing proposals from our Science and Engineering faculty? Three years ago an analysis was done of 6 summary statements after R01s were reviewed and were mostly unscored. Both “good” and “bad” summary statement comments were summarized (the ordinate indicates number sof comments appearing for each category):
So, despite worries that productivity is the main stumbling block (bad teaching loads and the like), instead the criticisms centered on the usual things that grant proposals fail on: too ambitious, feasibility not demonstrated, and poor writing (confusing layout of ideas and plans). Note on the praiseworthy factors that our S&E faculty appear to be innovative and well-qualified. Where there are pilot data, they are convincing. Less frequently occuring good comments were on the collaborations (perhaps these proposals didn’t include many) and on the research environment of the Bay area.
Many have asked whether grant-funded staff will be affected by potential furloughs. We have posed the question to HR”s AVP Lori Gentles and she is monitoring that issue across the CSU campuses and with the Chancellor’s office.
We will post new (reliable) information when we know it.
Yes Virginia, you do need pilot data. I just finished reading summary statements for an innovative research proposal involving children , that was theory-based and had a strong team. This was an R01 to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH). The reviewers fell all over themselves praising the proposal, but it only achieved a 36.5 percentile score. The problem? There were no pilot data *for the control condition*. At the risk of ranting, here is a continuum of desirability in submitting NIH proposals re: pilots (from less desirable to most): pilot data, pilot data that show an effect, pilot data that show an effect in the direction hypothesized in the proposal, published pilot data in the direction hypothesized, pilot data published in a strong peer-reviewed journal with yourself as either first or last author. You may ask yourself, is the last one really necessary? Well, consider that you have 2 times up at bat. That means you *must get scored* on the first submission in order to get a fundable score on the resubmission. And consider the competition.
Pupils with communication problems have been testing the software
Scientists claim to have developed the first technology of its kind to allow children with communication problems to converse better.
‘How was school today?’ is software to help children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy communicate faster.
The system is the result of a project between computing scientists from the Universities of Aberdeen and Dundee, and Capability Scotland.
Dr Ehud Reiter, from the University of Aberdeen’s school of natural and computing sciences, said: “How was school today? uses sensors, swipe cards, and a recording device to gather information on what the child using the system has experienced at school that day.
“This can then be turned into a story by the computer – using what is called natural language generation – which the pupils can then share when they get home.
“The system is designed to support a more interactive narration, allowing children to easily talk about their school day and to quickly answer questions.”
The report was Congressionally mandated in 2004/5. This segment, from the NY Times June 2:
“The prospects for women who are scientists and engineers at major research universities have improved, although women continue to face inequalities in salary and access to some other resources, a panel of the National Research Councilconcludes in a new report.
In recent years “men and women faculty in science, engineering and mathematics have enjoyed comparable opportunities,” said the report, issued Tuesday. It found that women who applied for university jobs and, once they had them, for promotion and tenure were at least as likely to succeed as men.
But compared with their numbers among new Ph.D.’s, women are still underrepresented in applicant pools, a puzzle that offers an opportunity for further research, the panel said.
The panel said one factor outshined all others in encouraging women to apply for jobs: having women on the committees appointed to fill them.”