I just completed my thirty gazillionth study section and find myself hoping some trainees turned PIs out there will heed one bit of hard-won wisdom. Your model? The one where you spent your postdoc showing that you can make

rats poke their noses in a hole 26 instead of 27 times?
flies don’t want to smoke meth?
worms don’t wiggle to the left as fast as their friends?

Yeah…those models. They aren’t that interesting. I’m sorry. I am. I’ve made models. And they are hard. And techniques are hard to do and getting harder. It’s painfully difficult to analyze phenotypes. And it’s time-consuming to analyze anatomy. I get it and I know you spent a lot of time on it. You made amazing pictures, and you’ve quantified the heck outta that buddy, but let it go. Please.

I care about your question. Your model needs to be the best method to ask that question, but for the love of all that is holy, I don’t want to know more about worm hokey pokey conditioned drug response in the dark. Especially not in your Specific Aims page.

I want to know about a cool hypothesis and sure, tell me later about how that little critter is going to be the best tool to address a super important question that is going to make it even thru this academic squirrel brain in a pile of 12 grants.

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