24 September, 2016

Postdoc rant (long) : Physics

Postdoc rant (long) : Physics: "The way grant review panels work is that they’re trying to judge a proposal basically on two things, impact on the field and likelihood of success. These two things are usually inversely proportional to each other. And so, grant awards end up going not to the people who have the most probability for scientific impact, but for people who give the reviewers what superficially looks like the best research. When writing a proposal, scientist are not usually aiming for the idea with the most impact, they are looking for the most “fundable” idea. With time, that becomes a skill. The ability to strike the right balance between relevance and likelihood of success. Science proposals are expected to have a detailed chronogram of how the research process will occur and all the papers that will come out. But everybody knows that's not how it works. You can't predict what problems your research will have and how you will overcome it, it's silly.

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