How much should past performance contribute to picking winners in grant competitions?
The weight that “track record” (TR) should contribute to the assessment of worth is a simple concept that is difficult to estimate. A synthesised value of TR is used to assess research grant applications. But what percentage of the overall variance does TR account for in determining success? In most human endeavours, assessors synthesise many variables to produce a single metric for TR that then becomes part of an overall scoring matrix. In assessing grant applications, the objective of this ranking is to minimise the risk that the grant given will not be productive.
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