The Principal Investigator's Burden
After a day of pushing papers in a empty building, in an abandoned university, where the students have fled for the Holiday break, and my colleagues who have no external support are also away with their families, Eli came across this editorial by Alan Leshner in Science
and the bunny said
Leshner goes on to say
A 2007 survey by the U.S. Federal Demonstration Partnership (A Profile of Federal-Grant Administrative Burden Among Federal Demonstration Partnership Faculty) found that 84% of faculty in the United States believe that the administrative burden associated with federally funded grants has increased significantly in recent years. Most notably, the study indicates that of the total time that faculty devote to research, 42% is spent on pre- and post-award administrative activities.Leshner considers goals
An ideal goal would be for every science-related rule or regulation to be rationalized and streamlined. As a group, they should be integrated as much as possible so as to reduce unnecessary duplication. New versions should address the lack of uniformity across agenciesand solutions
Whoever takes the lead in reducing administrative burden might consider a somewhat unorthodox approach to reviewing and revising existing regulations. Rather than starting with the evaluation of each existing policy one at a time, it might ultimately be better to start anew from an integrated list of all the issues that must be addressed, and then take an entirely fresh look at what rules and regulations should be applied. Although this might trigger fears of "reinventing the wheel," it also might prove the point of another old adage: "Never underestimate the value of 'square one.'"Comments?