On a recent post in the Survival blog for scientists an interesting analysis of the research funding system. As a PhD student one tends to get input from one’s advisor so as to continue one’s academic career. And it somehow seems that the bureaucracy, as opposed to the actual research, is a major thing. Some might even argue that attending conferences is more about meeting (the right) people, thus improving your chances to get funded, to publish, etc. Is this the right approach? A compromise is what is needed, but how much? Be that as it may, it surely doesn’t seem ethical. So why don’t we just flip the conference.
Much more has been said about the failure of current grant system than that has actually changed. My favorite opinion piece is this one by Peter A. Lawrence. The single-sentence abstract says it all: “The granting system turns young scientists into bureaucrats and then betrays them.” There are a couple of suggestions for improving the funding distribution in that article but the title of a comment by Markus Noll says enough about why nothing is changing: “Scientists in power will never change their system unless forced.”
Check this post Should editors of Science and Nature socialize with scientists?. ↩