Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beaker Ben, is it he, posting at College Misery?

This place looks like RYS but more of a free-for-all and fewer poorly rendered graphics.

OK, give me a minute to set up here. Check, check.

Speaking of student evals...
We all know that teaching evaluations are unfair but it’s not much better on the research side. After all, students and administrators aren’t the brightest bunch (if they were, they’d be professors) so it’s not too hard to fool them. Grant reviewers are pretty sharp cookies and are paid to find mistakes in research proposals. How tough is it? Consider this list of ...

My top ten worthy research proposals that didn’t get funded

10. Why is math so hard? Addressing the root cause of gender inequity in the sciences

9. Long term educational gains vs. brain trauma caused by beating some sense into students’ heads: A cost/benefit analysis

8. Studying the relationship between the chance of funding this proposal and the number of “sensitive” pictures I have of the NIH chairman

7. Look, I’m a pretty big name in my field. Just deposit some more money in my account

6. Let’s find out how a big research grant can improve a professor’s chance to get tenure, starting with me

5. Developing curricula for a scientific ethics course based on real-world scenarios (Reviewers: I’ll give you each a 10% kickback if you recommend this proposal)

4. An investigation of why the grant reviewers who ripped apart my previous proposals are so f’ing stupid that they wouldn’t know a good research idea if it fell out of the sky, landed on their face and wiggled

3. A half-baked idea that I’m proposing just because my department head evaluates us based on the number of grant applications we submit each year

2. How much professional misconduct by a few researchers does it take to undermine an entire field of science? [Note: Apparently, Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia already got funded for this.]

1. Sex, drugs and shooting the dean’s cat: Determining how to get my tenure revoked


  1. Don't forget this old chestnut:

    "Buzzword1 buzzword2 buzzword3, veiled promise to perform sexual favors on all committee members, history of previous grant funding."

  2. re: So that was my mistake! I missed the "veiled promise" section. Kicking myself now...


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