Will outsource for stimulus
March 17, 2009 6 Comments
1 part entrepreneurial environment
3 parts enterprising students
1 part stimulus package
Shake it all up and serve hot to hungry research labs.
As you might have heard, the NIH recently announced the Challenge Grant in Health and Science Research (RC1) program, with funding available for around 200 projects at $1M each over two years. It’s an enticing bonanza, for scientists can take a crack at one of these for the measly price of a 12 page grant application. But what if you need to do some computational work (as increasingly more research projects require) and don’t have a computational lab?
Ask a group of Stanford students and they’ll say it’s easy – just hire us! Calling themselves Stimulomics, they offer “micro consulting for major discoveries,” including data mining and analysis, computational infrastructure, and informatics training. To address the opportunity presented by the stimulus Challenge grants, they are also offering “deferred-payment grant writing” – they produce the informatics component, you pay them only if the grant is funded.
Some people might chafe at the thought of outsourcing but others may see it as an effective way to get things done. These students certainly think it’s a good way to put their existing skills to good use while gaining valuable additional experience in grant writing and interdisciplinary research. And it certainly doesn’t hurt if they get repaid for their efforts.
So what do you think? Will you take these smart young people up on their no-risk offer for your Challenge grant?
**Disclaimer: The folks behind Stimulomics are my colleagues, and they asked me to blog about them.