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Monday, October 14, 2013

Study Section Shutdown


In a guest post on the Simply Statistics blog, Debashis Ghosh, chair of the Biostatistical Methods and Research Design study section at the National Institutes of Health, explains how the government shutdown is impacting NIH study sections, which "will likely have disastrous long-term effects on the state of biomedical and scientific research."
Study sections meet three times a year to review grant submissions to the NIH, but these meetings have been put on hold during the government closure.
"Yesterday, I was notified by NIH that the BMRD October meeting was cancelled and postponed until further notice," Ghosh says, adding that this session "is but one of 160 regular study sections and many of them would be meeting in October."
These cancellations have "many detrimental consequences," Ghosh says. Without study section review, grants cannot be evaluated and funded. "This lag in the funding timeline stalls research, and in scientific research a slow stall now is more disastrous in the long term," possibly resulting in layoffs for lab technicians and research associates who are funded by grants up for renewal, "as well as a hiring freeze for new lab personnel using newly funded grants."

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