Blue Skies for the Best People
The NIH plans to offer more money and more freedom to the best researchers, but there are downsides, say scientists.
In July, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Deputy Director for Extramural Research, Sally Rockey, announced on her blog, Rock Talk, that the federal agency will begin offering longer-term financial support to scientists with strong prior accomplishments, allowing them to pursue more ambitious lines of research (2). The move is a change of direction for the NIH, which has traditionally awarded research grants on the basis of specific project proposals with clear-cut scientific goals. [Extract]