Grant Peer Review Study Section Targeting

A potential strategy–one that I have employed to great effect–is to target study sections that are *not* filled with subfield experts. This scares people because, “OMFG! They won’t understand my science and why it is important!”

However, my experience is that it is a lot easier to explain your science to a non-subfield-expert audience sufficiently to get them to see its importance, than it is to convince the subfield cognoscenti that there aren’t holes in your experimental design, logic, whatever. The harshest reviewers are always your fuckebagge cronies who know all the minute difficulties and weaknesses of your methodological and conceptual approaches.


  1. anon says

    It may also be that no matter what you say, the non-subfield-expert-study-section may decide that your work is irrelevant and triage the motherfucker. Or they may think that your approach (by using, for example, insects or fish as genetic model organisms) is also irrelevant to the human situation and favor the applications of their own pals instead.

  2. says

    I love the fuckbagge cronies that fight over using 100 mM vs 101 mM NaCl in a reaction buffer at conferences and watching them almost come to blows. Your strategy seems to be a sound one for choosing study sections.

  3. says

    I completely agree with PhysioProffe. Also, if you can’t convince non-experts that what you are doing is important, you either don’t know how to write or it’s not really important. What anon says has some credence, if you are pitching your ideas to non-experts that for example are medical doctors when you are an engineer, they might torpedo your proposal purely because they don’t like your kind or can’t believe that you might know what you are talking about.

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