Risks for med researchers in revealing career disruption

There’s no easy answer on how much to include in funding bids

Adrian Barnett, Susanna Cramb, Carly Dyer (all QUT) and Katie Page (UTS) surveyed research applicants and found  “career disruptions will be assessed depending on the peer reviewer, and hence it will sometimes be of benefit to include career disruption and sometimes not.”

This is despite the National Health and Medical Research Council allowing research applicants to include reasons for career disruption; including having children, carer responsibilities, accident and illness. The NHMRC also instructs peer reviewers “to assess research outputs relative to opportunity.”

One solution, the authors suggest, would be independent panels of health professionals assessing career disruptions reported in applications.  Applicants could also be invited to report the impact, not the cause of disruption.