Thursday, November 30, 2006

Review of the CIRM Grants Ends Five Hours Early

A batch of hard-working scientists has just finished the work of reviewing more than 200 applications for $24 million in California's first-ever grants for embryonic stem cell research.

The grants review group has concluded three days of closed-door meetings at the Miyako Hotel in San Francisco, analyzing the requests for funds from the California stem cell agency. Their session ended about 4:20 PST, five hours ahead of schedule, according to Dale Carlson, spokesman for CIRM.

Carlson also noted that the group took steps to add a tad more openness to the review process.
"The grants working group agreed to provide the names of members recused from each application review due to conflicts. So after the (Oversight Committee) decision, we'll be releasing the names and institutional affiliations of the grant recipients, along with the titles of their proposals and their abstracts; the title, abstract, score of each application the (Oversight Committee) decides not to fund, and the working group members recused from consideration of each application due to conflicts."
The California Stem Cell Report expects the CIRM Oversight Committee to give its blessing to virtually all of the recommendations at its February meeting.

We should note that reviewing the grants is hard work and not well-compensated. The reviewers are due a round of electronic applause. Congratulations.

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