Europe. A new survey has revealed that no matter which consortia you find yourself a member of, there will always be a partner who claims they plan to do exactly the same as you, only far, far worse.
Increasingly funders insist that projects are funded as large consortia, and include a wide range of partners. However, given the paucity of ideas in modern research, it appears that many partners turn up to meetings simply to steal your ideas and do them really badly.
One source, who wishes to remain anonymous, is part of a large European FP2020 project, had this to say: “It’s getting really bad now. No matter which projects you propose, there will always be a partner who claims they also plan to do the same, only far, far worse; or often they will claim that they have already done it when of course they haven’t. Everyone knows it and it’s quite embarrassing, but what can you do?”
Another source said “We turned up at the inaugural meeting and I was leader of WP1, which aims to measure biodiversity using sequencing. I said we should plan to sequence 10,000 individuals – because, well, what else do people do these days? And at the end, someone stuck their hand up and said they’d already done this, so why bother? I was a bit deflated. But it turns out, they haven’t done 10,000 individuals, they’ve done 5; and they didn’t sequence them, they genotyped them using micro-satellites; and they didn’t choose the individuals well, it was just some found in the scientist’s own back garden. And then it turns out they put in the budget to buy a HiSeq, which would actually be worth more than their entire institute, and we have 20 at our place anyway. Honestly, why do funders force me to work with these people?”
TheScienceWeb planned to contact funders for their opinion on the problem, but we discovered a new satirical science news site set up in Romania that has stolen all of our blog posts.