Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duplicate funding by government-funded science researchers

Hank Campbell writes in Science 2.0 that $72 billion dollars was wasted in subsidies for green energy companies with the right political connections in the last four years. However, did you know that many millions more were wasted in grants to researchers who submitted duplicate proposals to multiple agencies?

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech has found that funding agencies may have awarded millions of dollars to scientists who submitted the same grant request numerous times — and that scientists accepted the duplicate funding. The analysis led by Dr. Harold R. "Skip" Garner of the Medical Informatics Research Group, found that $70 million in funding this past decade - and maybe billions overall - looks inappropriate.

If you submit a new proposal right after you just received funding from another agency, one to research ethanol-resistance genes and one to research ethanol-hypersensitivity genes in C. elegans, was that illegal? Well, no, but getting double funding from the army and from the NIH at the same time for a project that seems a lot alike is certainly suspect. Plus, budgets are finite, someone else got denied a million dollars in research funds because another researcher better knew how to exploit the government-controlled science system.

It could be as much as 2.5 percent of total research funding, equivalent to $5.1 billion since 1985."

Read more here:

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