And the NHLBI:
The NHLBI has established an interim payline at the 6th percentile (inclusive) for investigator initiated R01/R21 research grant applications. Initial paylines will be determined for other funding mechanisms – such as program project grants, training and career development grants, and small business grants – later in the fiscal year.
(NHLBI is hoping that they can get the payline back to ten percent. Good luck with that.)
I’ve been fortunate to have received funding, but the times I’ve been involved with a grant that hit the sixth percentile or better are very few and far between. Not only is this incredibly difficult, but it completely weeds out any controversial grants, since every reviewer has to really like the proposal or it will be dead. With novel grants, there is often one reviewer who has doubts–precisely because it’s novel–and will give it a lower score.
Because what we need are fewer novel approaches and ideas.