Friday, October 14, 2016

Grant reviewers dislike ideas that are novel and close to their own expertise

...we designed and executed a grant proposal process at a leading research university in which we randomized the assignment of evaluators and proposals to generate 2,130 evaluator–proposal pairs. We find that evaluators systematically give lower scores to research proposals that are closer to their own areas of expertise and to those that are highly novel. The patterns are consistent with biases associated with boundedly rational evaluation of new ideas. The patterns are inconsistent with intellectual distance simply contributing “noise” or being associated with private interests of evaluators.
--Kevin Boudreau, Eva Guinan, Karim Lakhani, and Christoph Riedl, Management Science, on biases of peer review