Thursday, August 16, 2012

CSCR Reading List: A Look at the Grant Appeal Process at the California Stem Cell Agency

Here is a list of articles from the California Stem Cell Report as well as CIRM documents dealing with the grant appeal process at the California stem cell agency. The list was prepared on Aug. 16, 2012. To read the entire articles, click on the links.

Articles from the California Stem Cell Report

Aug. 7, 2012
A tiny opening exists for scientists who failed to win approval last month of their bids for $20 million research awards from the California stem cell agency.

July 26, 2012
Directors of the California stem cell agency today approved $151 million in research awards aimed at commercializing stem cell research and pushing therapies into clinical treatment....Five of the applications involving appeals were sent back by the board for more review. (See herehere and here.) They will be considered again in early September or October.

July 24, 2012
The California stem cell agency's latest grant round – which is budgeted for $243 million – has drawn an extraordinary and record outpouring of appeals from more than half of the scientists rejected by the grant reviewers. Nine of the 15 applicants who were turned down have filed appeals to the governing board for its meeting Thursday in Burlingame. No other CIRM grant round has drawn as high a percentage of appeals, formally known as extraordinary petitions. (See here for a story on the previous record for percentage of appeals.)

Aug. 10, 2010
Emotionalism and Potential Favoritism Cited as Need for Changes in CIRM Grant Appeals
Passion and favoritism, democracy and gamesmanship – all are part of the ongoing discussion among directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency as they try to fix what some of them call a “broken” grant appeal process.

July 19, 2010
UC Davis Scientist Praises CIRM Appeals Change
A stem cell researcher at UC Davis today said a change in the CIRM grant appeals procedure makes “a lot of sense.” Writing on his blog in regard to "extraordinary petitions," Paul Knoepfler said, “I think the proposed change makes a lot of sense and would greatly improve the process. Sometimes the reasons in the petitions are clearly not meritorious and as it now stands, they end up wasting CIRM's time. The last time CIRM received 9 petitions as well, which represented a remarkably large fraction of the total applications. A stricter process would discourage the submission of large numbers of petitions, an important issue given that the number of petitions received by CIRM continues to grow.”

CIRM Finally Discloses Grant Appeal Proposals
The California stem cell agency early today belatedly posted a two-page memo on proposed changes in how it will deal with appeals by scientists whose grant applications have been rejected by reviewers.

July 18, 2010
Sticky, Troubling Appeals by Rejected Researchers Targeted by Stem Cell Agency
A key step in the process for awarding billions of dollars in research grants is “broken,” according to many directors of the California stem cell agency, and major changes are looming that will affect hundreds of scientists.

June 22, 2010
Immunology Grants: CIRM Gives $25 Million to 19 Researchers
Directors of the California stem cell agency today approved $25 million for immunology research, overturning four negative decisions by its grant reviewers. Directors faced a record nine public petitions to reverse its reviewers. After some grumbling, the directors, who see only a summary of the application and reviewer comments, okayed the four.

June 19, 2010
More Grant Appeals Filed: Yamanaka Invoked
The California stem cell agency has set another benchmark, although this is one that it may not want to trot out at international stem cell gatherings. Eight scientists whose applications were rejected for funding by the CIRM grants working group and scientific reviewers are seeking to overturn those decisions at the agency's board meeting in San Diego on Tuesday. It is the largest number of “extraordinary petitions” ever filed and amounts to more than one out of every four applications that were turned down. The total number of applications received was 44. Fifteen were approved. Some of the researchers are likely to appear at the board meeting and make a personal pitch.

May 18, 2010
Competing for California Stem Cell Cash: Rules of the Game Coming Under Scrutiny
Every California stem cell scientist and researcher looking to join the field – be they from academia or business – should pay very close attention to a meeting next week of a key group of directors of the $3 billion California stem cell agency. They plan to discuss possible changes in how scientists compete for stem cell cash, which is no small matter since CIRM has another $2 billion to hand out over the next several years.

CIRM documents

Pre-application review – CIRM report (Jan. 2010) on the process

Extraordinary petition policy – Version as of 5/25/10

Appeal policy – Version as of 5/25/2010

Transcript of July 20, 2010, meeting of CIRM directors Science Subcommittee. Discussion of petitions begins on page 40.

Transcript of the June 22, 2010, CIRM directors meeting. Discussions of extraordinary petitions begin on pages 24 and 67.

Transcript of 5/25/10 Science Subcommittee meeting dealing with appeals issue. Discussion begins on page 99.

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