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Call to let democracy decide research grants

A secret ballot that allows Australia’s medical researchers to vote on who deserves federal funding could replace the time-wasting process of writing grant applications, a Queensland academic says.

Adrian Barnett, a health economist at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, has spent four years researching alternative ways to fund health and medical research in Australia.

Barnett has launched a national online survey, asking researchers working at Australian universities, research agencies and institutes to list and rank up to 10 of their peers on the basis of whom they believe most deserves funding.

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