This isn't a new piece, but it's among most well-written perspectives I've seen about the challenges (to put it mildly) in getting biomedical research funded. Cambridge researcher Peter Lawrence, PhD, writes in PloS Biology:
. . .the present funding system in science eats its own seed corn . To expect a young scientist to recruit and train students and postdocs as well as producing and publishing new and original work within two years (in order to fuel the next grant application) is preposterous. It is neither right nor sensible to ask scientists to become astrologists and predict precisely the path their research will follow-and then to judge them on how persuasively they can put over this fiction. It takes far too long to write a grant because the requirements are so complex and demanding. Applications have become so detailed and so technical that trying to select the best proposals has become a dark art.
Via O'Reilly Radar