One of my close colleagues got on eRA Commons and downloaded the challenge grants she was to review before eRA Commons went down for major upgrades in a majorly untimely fashion. This was a prudent move on her part since by the time eRA Commons would be accessible again, she would be traveling for multiple conferences and would have precious little time to download and review her grant assignments. So, she logged on. She was assigned 2 grants. She reviewed them while traveling and once home, with eRA Commons back up and running, went to upload her critiques the night before they were due. Since NIH would not be taking any critiques that came in after the deadline, this seemed a responsible plan.
Of course, when said colleague logged onto eRA Commons, she found that she had 3 grants to review. What’s more, one of the the original two grants that she downloaded was no longer there, but she did find another that she hadn’t seen before. So she had to review 2 new grants at the last minute, simply because NIH couldn’t be bothered to send out emails alerting people to changes in the assignments and eRA Commons couldn’t be accessed for a large chunk of time during the review period.
I’m continuously amazed at how this lumbering behemoth of an institution manages to function. Get your act together, people.
Filed under: Academia