Many of you are probably frantically finishing up grant proposals that are due at the NSF this week. Yet, across the river in Bethesda, some changes in the NIH grant proposal length limit are causing a stir. Beginning with the February 5th deadline, the page limit will drop from 25 to 12...and it appears many grant-writers are a little unhappy. This week's Nature News has a little blurb talking about the new format and the reaction it's getting. The featured quote in that piece says, "In the past I would have easily put in at least ten figures. That's impossible now." I bet that all of you trimming references, adjusting line spacing, and resizing figures for your 15-page NSF proposal are salivating at even the thought of having room for 10 figures. Nevertheless, some folks are fine with the new short format, with the expectation that it will force greater clarity. Needless to say, reviewers are also likely to be relieved by the changes. Having recently served on an NIH study section (which in not done confidentially, as it is at NSF), I can say that being faced with a stack of 100-page proposals, with 25 pages of narrative on the project, was a little exhausting. But not nearly as exhausting as writing one myself. Good luck getting those in, everybody.
Dechronization is authored by evolutionary biologists interested in the development and application of methods for estimating phylogeny and making phylogeny-based inferences. The goal of the blog is to provide a forum for discussion of the latest research and methods, while also providing anecdotes, tidbits of natural history, and other related information.