Thursday, June 02, 2011

Would you give me a grant? An experiment in Open Science

I would like to know what you think of a grant proposal I plan to submit to the UK Natural Environment Research Council at the end of the month. The proposal takes the notion of "dark taxa" explored in an earlier blog post and outlines three things I'd like to do:
  1. Quantify the extent of dark taxa (taxa in GenBank that don't have scientific names)
  2. Determine how many dark taxa are genuinely new species (as opposed to taxa that are known to science but simply haven't been labelled with their proper names)
  3. Explore what we can learn about a taxon's biology even if it lacks a scientific name (e.g., the "symbiome")

Given that I discuss most of my ideas on this blog, and deposit preprints in Nature Precedings before the corresponding manuscript is published, it seems a logical extension to make grant proposals open as well. So you view the proposal on Google Docs, and you can add comments, if you wish.

Any feedback or suggestions are welcome. Do you think this is fundable? Have I made a good case for the proposed research? Is it interesting, or is it obvious, or has it already been done? Let me know what you think.