1. Complete nonsense. Step 1. make many friends at conferences etc. with links to study sections; Step 2. develop collaborations with the most successful of these. Funding is not for ideas or quality of work. It’s who you know that counts. It’s impossible to determine if unfunded work was worthwhile. But the stuff that is funded is shockingly poor.

    1. As a researcher who has received my share both of grants and “not discussed” application reviews, and has participated in review panels, I know Dr. Durrant’s advice is not nonsense. But the suggestions of “thwarted applicant” are. For one thing, if a professional friend of mine submitted an application to a panel I was on, I would need to recuse myself from the discussion of that application. This happens regularly. Second, having “links to study sections” does not equate to receiving lots of funding. (Except that participating in review panels has made me a better *writer* of applications). Having participated in hundreds of reviews, I’ve seen no evidence that “it’s who you know that counts.” Indeed, I’ve seen many cases where applications from famous researchers or well-known groups have received poor impact scores, or not been discussed, because of perceived flaws in the significance, approach, etc. of the application.

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