Split from this thread There is a lot to discuss in relation to this and at the moment I am only capable of throwing out one or two immediate thoughts. I am fairly sure that there have indeed been few if any competitive proposals to the MRC. The projects funded in the ring fenced grant round recently were not exciting. There are lots of reasons why competitive proposals were not submitted but I think it is naive to discount this as the main problem. And the reason why there are hardly any good proposals is that there are so few leads. And if you think about it 'filling the area' is exactly what went wrong last time. The MRC decided it wanted to put money into ME. It looked around for promising biological research and did not find anything. The work in the 1990s had come up blank. But some psychiatrists came along saying they had a treatment to test - so they 'filled the area', despite the proposal being rubbish. Next time it might be metabolomic rubbish or microbiome rubbish or autoimmune rubbish or whatever but the lesson is the same. You cannot create good quality proposals in science to order. It is a bit like saying that the visual arts are in the doldrums so why hasn't the government commissioned a Rembrandt self-portrait or two. The answer is because Rembrandt is dead. The sort of science needed for ME is by definition going to arise from ideas that only one in ten thousand scientists can come up with. Otherwise somebody would already have come up with it. You might say that surely if you had a huge project that measured everything (as has been proposed here and Ron Davis is sort of doing) you are bound to find the answer. But it isn't like that. Unless you have the right ideas you will miss the answer in front of your nose because you measured things the wrong way. Having said all that, there is another side to the coin. And that is that there must at least be some sort of optimum way of cultivating an environment in which the right people are able to come up with ideas. That sort of environment was I think not uncommon in the 1980s but I am afraid has largely gone. But there are still better and less good ways to do things. IiME made a major contribution with their meetings but my impression is that they have lost focus. As for the MRC itself my worry is that there is confusion about the layers of organisations. The CMRC in particular seems to be a strange Qango-style body that is sort of funder, sort of facilitator and sort of applicant. And the same people appear on the list of names on the actual MRC committees. And it is not clear that in five years they have got anywhere. That may shortly be proved wrong, in which case we can stop moaning, but I am not sure things are really sorted. The stark difference between the 2013 Lords debate and today highlight the need for advocacy style to move on and become more sophisticated. I think that has to penetrate into the research culture in a way that is still not flowing well, even if certain log jams have been removed. To put things differently, I agree that more funding is needed and that we should hope government would make a major contribution. But I don't think just asking for £20M to be put on the table is the answer. It will be swallowed up by the next set of -babblers before you can say Jack Robinson. The funding bodies are right to put the bar high. The scientist need to meet it.