In DepthResearch Funding

Funders groan under growing review burden

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Science  28 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6349, pp. 343
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6349.343

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Science funding agencies are under pressure. The number of grant applications is going up in almost every country and field, whereas budgets are mostly flat or shrinking. That means reviewers and agency staff are spending more time on reviewing grants, while success rates are dropping to demoralizing lows. At a meeting in Amsterdam in late June, representatives of funding agencies commiserated and explored new ways to reduce application pressure and "reviewer fatigue," while safeguarding or improving the quality of reviews. They agreed that funders could benefit from research into their own practices—which has been rare until now—and resolved to collaborate and share their experiences on an online platform.

  • * Jop de Vrieze is a science journalist in Amsterdam.

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