That said, there are some lingering issues with grant peer review that aren’t new at all.
In 1975, the NIH launched a major “Grants Peer Review Study Team” that produced a number of reports and recommendations (much thanks to Bhaven Sampat at Columbia for sending me the documents in question!).
A 1978 report from that team tried to address many of the comments raised by the scientific community about NIH’s grant peer review. Despite the passage of some 45 years, the issues might feel . . . very familiar:
First, some commenters felt that peer review was stacking the deck against outsiders: