Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Keep Updated with Research Information - ​Common Application Rejection Reasons

The National Institute​s​ of Health (NIH) analyzed the reasons why over 700 research proposal applications were denied. Their findings as to the cause of rejection are worth reviewing:
  1. Nature of the Problem (18​.1​%)
  2. It is doubtful that new or useful information
    will result from the project (14%).
  3. The basic hypothesis is unsound (3.5%).
  4. The proposed research is scientifically premature due to the present inadequacy of supporting knowledge (0.6%).
  1. Approach to the Problem (38.9%)
    1. The research plan is nebulous, diffuse
      and not presented in concrete detail (8.6%).
    2. The planned research is not adequately controlled (3.7%).
    3. Greater care in planning is needed (25.2%).
      1. The research plan has not been carefully designed (11.8%).
      2. The proposed methods will not yield accurate results (8.8%).
      3. The procedures to be used should be spelled out
       in more detail (4.6%).
    4. A more thorough statistical treatment is needed (0.7%).
    5. The proposed tests require more individual subjects
      than the number given (0.7%).
  2. Competence of the Investigators (38.2%)
    1. The applicants need to acquire greater familiarity with the
      pertinent literature (7.2%).
    2. The problems to be investigated are more complex than the
      applicants realize (10.5%).
    3. The applicants propose to enter an area of research for which
      they are not adequately trained (12.8%).
    4. The principal investigator intends to give actual responsibility
      for the direction of a complex project to an inexperienced
      co-investigator (0.9%).
    5. The reviewers do not have sufficient confidence in the applicants
      to approve the present application, largely based on the past
      efforts of the applicants (6.8%).
  3. Conditions of the Research Environment (4.8%)
    1. The investigators will be required to devote too much time to
      teaching or other non-research duties (0.9%).
    2. Better liaison is needed with colleagues in collateral disciplines (0.4%).
    3. Requested expansion on continuation of a currently supported research project would result in failure to achieve the main goal of the work (3.5%).

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