The great economic crisis in the Western world has affected the academic and research institutions. One of the major funding agencies NIH has seen effective funding cut that has translated in reduction of both number of research grants and the amount of money apportioned to them. The situation has reached a crisis level. Yet, there seems to be no effect on the ‘higher echelons’ of the research community.
Research dollars are disproportionately distributed among researchers. Although we resent to the notion that 1% of the US population possesses 90% of the wealth, we do not react the same way to the financial disparity in scientific research. Relatively few scientists have monopolized the major chunk of tax-payers’ dollars while a large number of competent and innovative scientists do not. This needs to end!
In these difficult times, everyone is required to sacrifice a little. We ought to ensure that publicly funded scientific research is distributed to all competent scientists and not only to the members of scientific power broker cartel. There is no obvious reason why a researcher should have more than one R01 grant, especially during tough economic situation. By adopting One PI= One R01, the NIH can support thousands more new scientists and diversify the scientific research base. By doing so, NIH will promote innovative research to catalyze scientific growth.
We should also understand that NIH cannot make a law. To achieve One PI=One R01, we have to inform and educate our legislators of the benefits of this formula. Write to your House Representative and Senator asking them to consider broadening the productive and innovative scientific base by expanding the participation by new scientists. Ask them to implement One PI= One R01 formula. There are numerous benefits of One PI= One R01 to the scientific community. It will improve educational standards of the universities and will bring back talent to our educational institutions. This is the only way to assure that dwindling scientific impact is regained.