Topic: Different Grant Mechanisms
Comments by Richard
My understanding might not be perfect but it is my impression that grant funding from federal agencies is awarded to an institution which has a lot of rights over the money: to take overhead, ownership of property bought with the money, etc. In return the institutions are supposed to provide the environment. However almost all work is done by researchers is with the equipment owned, operated, and maintained by their own lab, with occasional use of a shared rare piece of equipment somewhere else on campus. In addition, if the research model organism is bacteria, fly, yeast, etc., then almost no special or particularly expensive facilities exist that couldn’t be purchased and installed in a rental lease space anywhere in the country where there is electricity and running water.
In other words, why aren’t grants awarded to the investigator with freedom to find competitive workspaces that they can lease at low cost~ so that they can spend research funds on staff and worthwhile experiments?
Of course a person who teaches at the university and doesn’t have research-only interests might not be interested in this, but many people would like to focus primarily on research. In my opinionit seems like more can be done to allow good research to be flourish outside overly costly institutions.
Why are university and hospital administrators and maintenance workers paid well with nice benefits and job security when postdoctoral fellows believe they are not? Well… when the university takes almost 60% of the grant awarded to the PI who worked hard to get the grant and just continue to provide electricity and water and access to a library….. should it really cost that much?
And lastly, applying to grants is too complicated.
I hope this opinion can be helpful, of course not everyone will agree, but these are just ideas.