As long as NIH doesn’t end the R2D2 funding mechanism, we’ll be fine. The C3PO mechanism was always a joke, however.
I’m hoping the concept that even a stopped clock is right twice a day is operative here:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) denounced on Thursday a Republican proposal to cut National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in their long-term 2011 budget.
The House GOP budget approved in February would slash $1 billion from the $31 billion NIH budget. The White House is seeking an additional $1 billion in 2012.
“I would plead with Republicans in the House not to cut the NIH and – if anything – to increase it,” Gingrich, a likely presidential candidate, told the GOP Congressional Health Care Caucus.
No, not that. This:
While supporting more funding for the medical research agency, Gingrich said Congress should hold hearings on the NIH’s effectiveness.
“I’m not defending the current NIH model, which I think is obsolescent and minimizes progress by having too many small grants,” he said.
I don’t think the current model is “obsolescent”: we need lots of creative ideas, and the more people thinking about things, the better. But, as I’ve argued before, we do have to start thinking about how NIH can take these creative ideas and turn them into cures–or at least move them down the development chain. Typically, at some point, that’s going to require heft–R01s aren’t going to cut it. If it’s a good idea, then one should be able to ‘go large’ (or as I like to call it, go all Manhattan Project on its ass).
Rather than engaging in arithmetically illiterate circle jerks about whether researchers can ‘only’ resubmit proposals, or if they can re-resubmit proposals, we would be much better served figuring out how to make our research result in more solutions to problems, if not cures.