Funding grant proposals for scientific research : retrospective analysis of scores by members of grant review panel

Graves, Nicholas, Barnett, Adrian G., & Clarke, Philip (2011) Funding grant proposals for scientific research : retrospective analysis of scores by members of grant review panel. British Medical Journal, 343(sep27 ), d4797.

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Objectives: To quantify randomness and cost when choosing health and medical research projects for funding. Design: Analysis of retrospective data from grant review panels.

Setting: The National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia.

Participants/Data: All panel members’ scores for grant proposals submitted in 2009. Main outcome measure: The proportion of grant proposals that were always, sometimes and never funded after accounting for random variability arising from variation in panel members’ scores; the cost-effectiveness of different size assessment panels.

Results: 59% of 620 funded grants were sometimes not funded when random variability was accounted for. Only 9% of grant proposals were always funded, 61% were never funded and 29% were sometimes funded. The extra cost per grant effectively funded from the most effective system was $18,541.

Conclusions: Allocating funding for scientific research in health and medicine is costly and somewhat random. There are many useful research questions to be addressed that could improve current processes.

Impact and interest:

22 citations in Scopus
22 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 46365
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: funding, peer review, uncertainty
DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d4797
ISSN: 0959-8138
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > APPLIED ECONOMICS (140200) > Health Economics (140208)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 BMJ Publishing Group
Deposited On: 09 Oct 2011 22:23
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2011 02:14

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