I am glad that @CSRpeerreview is taking steps to revamp the fellowship review process. I am a frequent reviewer of F applications and have served as a mentor to several trainees with F31/F32 grants. Here are some of my specific concerns with the current process; 🧵
1. Grades are not relevant to the evaluation of research and training potential and should not be part of the application or the review process. Trainees are often highly demoralized by Reviewer comments about poor grades.
2. I have also witnessed Reviewers commenting negatively on a gap in training. This is also not relevant. Some students have had to take an academic break because of medical or financial reasons. They should not have to justify why they had to take a break in their education.
3. Some of the best mentors are junior faculty. They should not be “punished” for being too junior to mentor trainees. They should not have to go and search for more established mentors who are often not as invested in training the applicant as the primary faculty sponsor.
4. Jr faculty, and faculty who are women or from under-represented groups are often criticized for not having enough “experience" in an area (despite publications proving the contrary).
For example, as a neurobiologist who started studying islet biology, my trainees' grants are often critiqued because I'm considered to not have enough experience in the islet field. This, despite having published 4 papers as last and corresponding author, and having NIH funding
5. Sponsor funding should be de-linked from trainee fellowship evaluations. Talented and creative trainees should not be “punished” for having the misfortune to be in a lab where the sponsor may have a temporary gap in funding.
6. For F31 fellowships, applicants in their early years in a program should not be critiqued for not having publications. Most students take time to publish and in yrs1-3, are learning the experimental and communication skills necessary to work toward a publication
Time to pubs are field-specific. Focusing on having pub under your belt as a 2nd-3rd yr student work against students who did not have access to research opportunities in R1 universities as under-grads

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More from @rkuruvi1

4 Jun 21
“We had plenty of talented, highly qualified women ready to advance to leadership positions at Genentech, but we weren’t doing a good job of recognizing them”

“To raise their visibility, we held leaders accountable for identifying women on their teams who were primed to move to the next level in their careers and then advocating for them in talent-review discussions”
“We also redesigned our interview process....These changes helped to reduce bias in our hiring decisions by forcing us to evaluate candidates based on their abilities rather than on titles on their resumes and interviewers’ assumptions and preferences.”
Read 8 tweets
30 Aug 20
“The more decorated a male scientist is, the fewer women he trains, and universities hire their junior faculty members from these elite men’s labs” theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
“”When I go to a venture-capital group of only men,” Nacy said, “I do most of the speaking, and my chief business officer and I watch faces. If they’re incredulous about something I’ve said, he’ll repeat the same thing—and then it’ll be just fine.””
“A study last year found that the typical National Institutes of Health research grant to a male principal investigator is $41,000 larger than to a female one. The gap between NIH grants for women and men is even larger at top universities: $68,800 at Yale and $76,500 at Brown.”
Read 7 tweets
7 Jul 20
It’s hard to appreciate the experience of being a F1 student in this country unless you’ve been one. And no matter how far you’ve come in life, you cannot forget the anxiety, the years separated from family and everything familiar, not being present at weddings, deaths, births...
Because you cannot afford to travel or because you fear cannot come back in. The desperate need to fit in, yet maintain your connections. The friends you make, often immigrants like yourself, telling your family you are ok many times when you are not
The joys of every hard-won success. The humiliation by an immigration officer at the airport, the constant looking over your shoulder that you cannot even get a traffic ticket for fear of being deported.
Read 4 tweets

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