Thursday, January 31, 2013

Double Dipping, Research Style

A new article in Nature brings up the practice of double dipping in research funding, where researchers obtain multiple grants for nearly identical projects.  While this practice is discouraged and technically not permitted, the plain truth is that it happens all the time.  This article points out that very little is done to check for duplication of funding between federal agencies.  It is up to researchers to report the duplication or overlap of funding.  Interestingly, more than one individual mentioned in this article admitted to submitting the exact same materials to multiple federal agencies.  Having a little more background knowledge than what is written in this article, I can attest to the fact that the duplicate submissions may have something to do with lack of time or motivation on the part of the PI to make edits or changes before submitting a modified version of an application to a different funding agency.  In other words, while some materials such as the budget may be different, researchers who duplicate submissions of projects focused on the same aims often fail to take the time to modify the abstract and other materials when seeking additional sources of funding for their projects.   

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