PEET and NSF and jobs

Felix Sperling sperling at NATURE.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Nov 27 10:31:32 CST 1996

I'm afraid that I have to respectfully disagree with Luis Ruedas'
assessment of the PEET granting process:

>  Seems more like a reward for past honorifics
>than a useful granting system.  I suspect the money would be better spent
>helping young investigators (being one myself) rather than people in the
>waning stages of their carreers

I am a "young investigator" who got a PEET grant, and I know that
there were *several* others who fall into the same category.
It's true, I have Jerry Powell as the second PI, and he is a
taxonomist of repute who is at the end of his career. But that was
the whole point - pairing a young investigator with a seasoned
taxonomist. Also, virtually all the money has gone to graduate
students and postdoc salaries.

As far as I am concerned, the PEET grant has done a lot of good for
systematics in my end of my university. My dean and several others
sat up and took notice, and now the previously unimaginable is about
to happen. For those of you who are entomologists, please stay
tuned over the next couple of weeks for a job opening for an
Arthropod Systematist at Berkeley. You will notice that the word
"molecular" does not appear in the ad.

As for PEET grants taking funds away from regular systematics panels,
I think that you may have some incorrect information. The PEET
initiative, which many people at NSF have worked very hard to bring
out and keep rolling for next year, looks very promising for
*increasing* the total budget for systematics relative to other
programs, and particularly for an increase in the funds that go to
alpha taxonomy.

I think things are looking up for systematics. But by all means, now
is a good time to keep the pressure up on all those politicians in
the appropriations committee. Just please don't feel that PEET is
hurting the rest of systematics - I think the opposite is true.

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Felix Sperling                   office: 510 642 4296
Assistant Professor              lab:    510 642 7410
201 Wellman Hall                 fax:    510 642 7428
ESPM - Insect Biology
University of California         sperling at
Berkeley,  CA  94720-3112

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