Are there secret standards at funding agencies?

Wouldn’t you be horrified to hear there is a secret standard at your funding agency that you could easily meet, had you been told about it? I sure would. It is easy to see imaginary secret standards when funding rates are so low, but what if they really exist?

Why would an agency have secret standards anyway? I don’t get it. Standards should be open or they should not exist. Frankly, I’m guessing these are only rumors, but they are making it to the halls of my university and to Dear Labby, of the ASCB July 2014 newsletter. Actually, Dear Labby looks quite interesting, so check it out!

As far as secret standards go, find out if they are true and help ferret out why, or spread the word. In this particular case, the so-called secret standard is that all proposals in a generally non-mathematical, statistically naive field must have models. Is it true? Can it be true? Does anyone dare say?

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
This entry was posted in Grant proposals, Grants, NSF and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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