ResearchPad - research-grants https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[What makes an effective grants peer reviewer? An exploratory study of the necessary skills]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13869 This exploratory mixed methods study describes skills required to be an effective peer reviewer as a member of review panels conducted for federal agencies that fund research, and examines how reviewer experience and the use of technology within such panels impacts reviewer skill development. Two specific review panel formats are considered: in-person face-to-face and virtual video conference. Data were collected through interviews with seven program officers and five expert peer review panelists, and surveys from 51 respondents. Results include the skills reviewers’ consider necessary for effective review panel participation, their assessment of the relative importance of these skills, how they are learned, and how review format affects skill development and improvement. Results are discussed relative to the peer review literature and with consideration of the importance of professional skills needed by successful scientists and peer reviewers.

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<![CDATA[Association between commercial funding of Canadian patient groups and their views about funding of medicines: An observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706777d5eed0c4847c7095

Background

Patient groups represent the interest of their members when it comes to drug funding. Many patient groups receive grants from pharmaceutical companies that make products being considered for funding. This research examines whether there is an association between the positions that Canadian groups take about the products and conflicts of interest with the companies.

Methods

The Common Drug Review (CDR) and panCanadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) make recommendations to Canadian provincial and federal drug plans about funding particular drug-indications. Both utilize input from patient groups in making their recommendations. Patient group submissions are available from both organizations and these submissions contain statements about conflicts of interest. Views of the patient groups, with and without a conflict with the company making the drug under consideration and without any conflicts at all, were assessed and then compared with the recommendations from CDR and pCODR.

Results

There was a total of 222 reports for drug-indications. There were 372 submissions from 93 different patient groups. Groups declared a total of 1896 conflicts with drug companies in 324 (87.1%) individual submissions. There were 268 submissions where groups declared a conflict with the company making the product or said they had no conflict. Irrespective of whether there was a conflict, the views of patient groups about the drug-indications under consideration were the same. There was no statistically significant difference between views of patient groups and the recommendations from CDR and/or pCODR.

Conclusions

The large majority of patient groups making submissions about funding of particular drug-indications had conflicts with the companies making the products and their views about the products were almost always positive. This association between funding and views needs to be further investigated to determine if a true cause and effect exists.

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<![CDATA[The PLOS ONE collection on machine learning in health and biomedicine: Towards open code and open data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c4dd5eed0c484bd16c0

Recent years have seen a surge of studies in machine learning in health and biomedicine, driven by digitalization of healthcare environments and increasingly accessible computer systems for conducting analyses. Many of us believe that these developments will lead to significant improvements in patient care. Like many academic disciplines, however, progress is hampered by lack of code and data sharing. In bringing together this PLOS ONE collection on machine learning in health and biomedicine, we sought to focus on the importance of reproducibility, making it a requirement, as far as possible, for authors to share data and code alongside their papers.

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<![CDATA[Crowdfunding scientific research: Descriptive insights and correlates of funding success]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bb9d5eed0c48491dfff

Crowdfunding has gained traction as a mechanism to raise resources for entrepreneurial and artistic projects, yet there is little systematic evidence on the potential of crowdfunding for scientific research. We first briefly review prior research on crowdfunding and give an overview of dedicated platforms for crowdfunding research. We then analyze data from over 700 campaigns on the largest dedicated platform, Experiment.com. Our descriptive analysis provides insights regarding the creators seeking funding, the projects they are seeking funding for, and the campaigns themselves. We then examine how these characteristics relate to fundraising success. The findings highlight important differences between crowdfunding and traditional funding mechanisms for research, including high use by students and other junior investigators but also relatively small project size. Students and junior investigators are more likely to succeed than senior scientists, and women have higher success rates than men. Conventional signals of quality–including scientists’ prior publications–have little relationship with funding success, suggesting that the crowd may apply different decision criteria than traditional funding agencies. Our results highlight significant opportunities for crowdfunding in the context of science while also pointing towards unique challenges. We relate our findings to research on the economics of science and on crowdfunding, and we discuss connections with other emerging mechanisms to involve the public in scientific research.

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<![CDATA[Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667b6d5eed0c4841a6160

Scientific research funding is allocated largely through a system of soliciting and ranking competitive grant proposals. In these competitions, the proposals themselves are not the deliverables that the funder seeks, but instead are used by the funder to screen for the most promising research ideas. Consequently, some of the funding program's impact on science is squandered because applying researchers must spend time writing proposals instead of doing science. To what extent does the community's aggregate investment in proposal preparation negate the scientific impact of the funding program? Are there alternative mechanisms for awarding funds that advance science more efficiently? We use the economic theory of contests to analyze how efficiently grant proposal competitions advance science, and compare them with recently proposed, partially randomized alternatives such as lotteries. We find that the effort researchers waste in writing proposals may be comparable to the total scientific value of the research that the funding supports, especially when only a few proposals can be funded. Moreover, when professional pressures motivate investigators to seek funding for reasons that extend beyond the value of the proposed science (e.g., promotion, prestige), the entire program can actually hamper scientific progress when the number of awards is small. We suggest that lost efficiency may be restored either by partial lotteries for funding or by funding researchers based on past scientific success instead of proposals for future work.

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<![CDATA[Capacity to conduct health research among NGOs in Malawi: Diverse strengths, needs and opportunities for development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a1964463d7e428027f8ae

Background

The role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in health research has attracted growing attention. NGOs are important service providers and advocates in international health, and conducting research can help NGOs to strengthen these service delivery and advocacy activities. However, capacity to conduct research varies among NGOs. There is currently limited evidence on NGOs’ research capacity that can explain why capacity varies or indicate potential areas for support. We examined NGOs’ capacity to conduct research, identifying factors that affect their access to the funds, time and skills needed to undertake research.

Methods

We examined research capacity through qualitative case studies of three NGOs in Malawi, including one national and two international NGOs. Data were generated through interviews and focus groups with NGO staff, observation of NGO activities, and document reviews.

Results

Availability of funding, skills and time to conduct research varies considerably between the case NGOs. Access to these resources is affected by internal processes such as sources of funding and prioritisation of research, and by the wider environment and external relationships, including the nature of donor support. Constraints include limited ability to apply for research funding, a perception that donors will not support research costs, lack of funding to hire or train research staff, and prioritisation of service delivery over research in funding proposals and staff schedules.

Conclusion

The findings suggest strategies for NGOs and for donors interested in supporting NGOs’ research capacity. Above all, the findings reinforce the importance of initial capacity assessments to identify organisational needs and opportunities. In addition, the need for time and funding as well as skills suggests that strengthening NGOs’ research capacity will often require more than research training.

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<![CDATA[Systems Approaches to the Eukaryotic Stress Response]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f8ab0ee8fa60b711eb ]]> <![CDATA[How Criterion Scores Predict the Overall Impact Score and Funding Outcomes for National Institutes of Health Peer-Reviewed Applications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fcab0ee8fa60b72836

Understanding the factors associated with successful funding outcomes of research project grant (R01) applications is critical for the biomedical research community. R01 applications are evaluated through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review system, where peer reviewers are asked to evaluate and assign scores to five research criteria when assessing an application’s scientific and technical merit. This study examined the relationship of the five research criterion scores to the Overall Impact score and the likelihood of being funded for over 123,700 competing R01 applications for fiscal years 2010 through 2013. The relationships of other application and applicant characteristics, including demographics, to scoring and funding outcomes were studied as well. The analyses showed that the Approach and, to a lesser extent, the Significance criterion scores were the main predictors of an R01 application’s Overall Impact score and its likelihood of being funded. Applicants might consider these findings when submitting future R01 applications to NIH.

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<![CDATA[Supporting Better Evidence Generation and Use within Social Innovation in Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Qualitative Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb914

Background

While several papers have highlighted a lack of evidence to scale social innovations in health, fewer have explored decision-maker understandings of the relative merit of different types of evidence, how such data are interpreted and applied, and what practical support is required to improve evidence generation. The objectives of this paper are to understand (1) beliefs and attitudes towards the value of and types of evidence in scaling social innovations for health, (2) approaches to evidence generation and evaluation used in systems and policy change, and (3) how better evidence-generation can be undertaken and supported within social innovation in health.

Methods

Thirty-two one-on-one interviews were conducted between July and November 2015 with purposively selected practitioners, policymakers, and funders from low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). Data were analysed using a Framework Analysis Approach.

Results

While practitioners, funders, and policymakers said they held outcome evidence in high regard, their practices only bear out this assertion to varying degrees. Few have given systematic consideration to potential unintended consequences, in particular harm, of the programs they implement, fund, or adopt. Stakeholders suggest that better evidence-generation can be undertaken and supported within social innovation in health by supporting the research efforts of emerging community organizations; creating links between practitioners and academia; altering the funding landscape for evidence-generation; providing responsive technical education; and creating accountability for funders, practitioners, and policymakers.

Conclusion

How better evidence-generation can be undertaken and supported within social innovation in health is a previously under-operationalised aspect of the policy-making process that remains essential in order to refrain from causing harm, enable the optimization of existing interventions, and ultimately, to scale and fund what works.

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<![CDATA[Why Having a (Nonfinancial) Interest Is Not a Conflict of Interest]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fcab0ee8fa60b72849

A current debate about conflicts of interest related to biomedical research is to question whether the focus on financial conflicts of interest overshadows “nonfinancial” interests that could put scientific judgment at equal or greater risk of bias. There is substantial evidence that financial conflicts of interest such as commercial sponsorship of research and investigators lead to systematic biases in scientific research at all stages of the research process. Conflation of “conflicts of interest” with “interests” in general serves to muddy the waters about how to manage conflicts of interest. We call for heightened disclosure of conflicts of interest and policy action beyond disclosure as the sole management strategy. We propose a different strategy to manage interests more broadly to ensure fair representation and accountability.

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<![CDATA[Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): A New Metric That Uses Citation Rates to Measure Influence at the Article Level]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabcab0ee8fa60baefc1

Despite their recognized limitations, bibliometric assessments of scientific productivity have been widely adopted. We describe here an improved method to quantify the influence of a research article by making novel use of its co-citation network to field-normalize the number of citations it has received. Article citation rates are divided by an expected citation rate that is derived from performance of articles in the same field and benchmarked to a peer comparison group. The resulting Relative Citation Ratio is article level and field independent and provides an alternative to the invalid practice of using journal impact factors to identify influential papers. To illustrate one application of our method, we analyzed 88,835 articles published between 2003 and 2010 and found that the National Institutes of Health awardees who authored those papers occupy relatively stable positions of influence across all disciplines. We demonstrate that the values generated by this method strongly correlate with the opinions of subject matter experts in biomedical research and suggest that the same approach should be generally applicable to articles published in all areas of science. A beta version of iCite, our web tool for calculating Relative Citation Ratios of articles listed in PubMed, is available at https://icite.od.nih.gov.

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<![CDATA[The Development of Computational Biology in South Africa: Successes Achieved and Lessons Learnt]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc6f87

Bioinformatics is now a critical skill in many research and commercial environments as biological data are increasing in both size and complexity. South African researchers recognized this need in the mid-1990s and responded by working with the government as well as international bodies to develop initiatives to build bioinformatics capacity in the country. Significant injections of support from these bodies provided a springboard for the establishment of computational biology units at multiple universities throughout the country, which took on teaching, basic research and support roles. Several challenges were encountered, for example with unreliability of funding, lack of skills, and lack of infrastructure. However, the bioinformatics community worked together to overcome these, and South Africa is now arguably the leading country in bioinformatics on the African continent. Here we discuss how the discipline developed in the country, highlighting the challenges, successes, and lessons learnt.

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<![CDATA[Recent trends in the U.S. Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) workforce]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb96a

While behavioral and social sciences occupations comprise one of the largest portions of the “STEM” workforce, most studies of diversity in STEM overlook this population, focusing instead on fields such as biomedical or physical sciences. This study evaluates major demographic trends and productivity in the behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR) workforce in the United States during the past decade. Our analysis shows that the demographic trends for different BSSR fields vary. In terms of gender balance, there is no single trend across all BSSR fields; rather, the problems are field-specific, and disciplines such as economics and political science continue to have more men than women. We also show that all BSSR fields suffer from a lack of racial and ethnic diversity. The BSSR workforce is, in fact, less representative of racial and ethnic minorities than are biomedical sciences or engineering. Moreover, in many BSSR subfields, minorities are less likely to receive funding. We point to various funding distribution patterns across different demographic groups of BSSR scientists, and discuss several policy implications.

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<![CDATA[Identifying Anomalous Citations for Objective Evaluation of Scholarly Article Impact]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db24ab0ee8fa60bcfe70

Evaluating the impact of a scholarly article is of great significance and has attracted great attentions. Although citation-based evaluation approaches have been widely used, these approaches face limitations e.g. in identifying anomalous citations patterns. This negligence would inevitably cause unfairness and inaccuracy to the article impact evaluation. In this study, in order to discover the anomalous citations and ensure the fairness and accuracy of research outcome evaluation, we investigate the citation relationships between articles using the following factors: collaboration times, the time span of collaboration, citing times and the time span of citing to weaken the relationship of Conflict of Interest (COI) in the citation network. Meanwhile, we study a special kind of COI, namely suspected COI relationship. Based on the COI relationship, we further bring forward the COIRank algorithm, an innovative scheme for accurately assessing the impact of an article. Our method distinguishes the citation strength, and utilizes PageRank and HITS algorithms to rank scholarly articles comprehensively. The experiments are conducted on the American Physical Society (APS) dataset. We find that about 80.88% articles contain contributed citations by co-authors in 26,366 articles and 75.55% articles among these articles are cited by the authors belonging to the same affiliation, indicating COI and suspected COI should not be ignored for evaluating impact of scientific papers objectively. Moreover, our experimental results demonstrate COIRank algorithm significantly outperforms the state-of-art solutions. The validity of our approach is verified by using the probability of Recommendation Intensity.

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<![CDATA[Entangling Credit and Funding Shocks in Interbank Markets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66741

Credit and liquidity shocks represent main channels of financial contagion for interbank lending markets. On one hand, banks face potential losses whenever their counterparties are under distress and thus unable to fulfill their obligations. On the other hand, solvency constraints may force banks to recover lost fundings by selling their illiquid assets, resulting in effective losses in the presence of fire sales—that is, when funding shortcomings are widespread over the market. Because of the complex structure of the network of interbank exposures, these losses reverberate among banks and eventually get amplified, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the whole financial system. Inspired by the recently proposed Debt Rank, in this work we define a systemic risk metric that estimates the potential amplification of losses in interbank markets accounting for both credit and liquidity contagion channels: the Debt-Solvency Rank. We implement this framework on a dataset of 183 European banks that were publicly traded between 2004 and 2013, showing indeed that liquidity spillovers substantially increase systemic risk, and thus cannot be neglected in stress-test scenarios. We also provide additional evidence that the interbank market was extremely fragile up to the global financial crisis, becoming slightly more robust only afterwards.

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<![CDATA[Water, Water, Everywhere: Defining and Assessing Data Sharing in Academia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0cab0ee8fa60bca8b3

Sharing of research data has begun to gain traction in many areas of the sciences in the past few years because of changing expectations from the scientific community, funding agencies, and academic journals. National Science Foundation (NSF) requirements for a data management plan (DMP) went into effect in 2011, with the intent of facilitating the dissemination and sharing of research results. Many projects that were funded during 2011 and 2012 should now have implemented the elements of the data management plans required for their grant proposals. In this paper we define ‘data sharing’ and present a protocol for assessing whether data have been shared and how effective the sharing was. We then evaluate the data sharing practices of researchers funded by the NSF at Oregon State University in two ways: by attempting to discover project-level research data using the associated DMP as a starting point, and by examining data sharing associated with journal articles that acknowledge NSF support. Sharing at both the project level and the journal article level was not carried out in the majority of cases, and when sharing was accomplished, the shared data were often of questionable usability due to access, documentation, and formatting issues. We close the article by offering recommendations for how data producers, journal publishers, data repositories, and funding agencies can facilitate the process of sharing data in a meaningful way.

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<![CDATA[Strengthening Neglected Tropical Disease Research through Enhancing Research-Site Capacity: An Evaluation of a Novel Web Application to Facilitate Research Collaborations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd98a4 ]]> <![CDATA[The Transformative Nature of Transparency in Research Funding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ddab0ee8fa60b685e3

This Perspective extends an ongoing debate on transparency in research funding, advocating the exploration of more radical approaches.

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<![CDATA[The Gradual Transformation of the Polish Public Science System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0aab0ee8fa60b7730e

This paper investigates institutional change in the Polish public science system (PPSS) in the past twenty years. Employing macro-statistical data, the paper argues that this change process has unfolded stepwise and relatively late despite major political and economic transformations in post-socialist Poland. Using a historical-institutionalist perspective, the paper focuses on processes of institutional change, including layering, displacement, and dismantling. One major finding is that the speed and depth of the gradual transformation differs considerably between the three research performing sectors of the Polish public science system. As the Polish Academy of Sciences was reproduced institutionally, the former governmental units for applied R&D were partly dismantled and displaced by private sector R&D units. In contrast, the Higher Education sector underwent a strong expansion and, thus, layering of new research activities and fields. Since policy shifts within the PPSS occurred relatively late, the more than two decades following the collapse of communism are of special interest to scholars of incremental, yet cumulative, institutional change.

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<![CDATA[Size, Accumulation and Performance for Research Grants: Examining the Role of Size for Centres of Excellence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db45ab0ee8fa60bd850c

The present paper examines the relation between size, accumulation and performance for research grants, where we examine the relation between grant size for Centres of Excellence (CoE) funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) and various ex post research performance measures, including impact and shares of highly cited articles. We examine both the relation between size and performance and also how performance for CoEs evolves over the course of grant periods. In terms of dynamics, it appears that performance over the grant period (i.e. 10 years) is falling for the largest CoEs, while it is increasing for those among the smallest half. Overall, multivariate econometric analysis finds evidence that performance is increasing in grant size and over time. In both cases, the relation appears to be non-linear, suggesting that there is a point at which performance peaks. The CoEs have also been very successful in securing additional funding, which can be viewed as a ‘cumulative effect’ of center grants. In terms of new personnel, the far majority of additional funding is spent on early career researchers, hence, this accumulation would appear to have a ‘generational’ dimension, allowing for scientific expertise to be passed on to an increasing number of younger researchers.

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