…spare a thought for your colleagues in Bulgaria.
I had to read the fifth paragraph of this Nature News piece two or three times to make sure I’d fully understood the depth of the (alleged) problems at the Bulgarian National Science Fund:
The report claims that many of the 230 reviewers who were chosen to assess the proposals had no science degrees or academic position. “One professor of English reviewed a paper in biochemistry,” says Horozov. Each of the reviewers was allowed to select which grant proposals he or she would review from the whole list, a practice that is unheard of in funding agencies. As the reviewers were paid for each review they produced, Horozov believes that this system may have been abused by some reviewers to boost their fees. “Several referees, even those without any form of scientific qualification, managed to comment on 100–200 applications within just two months.”
There are also accusations of ignored reviews, manipulated scores, and other discrepancies. If true, this system is horrifically unfair to researchers already working in very difficult conditions.
I think I’m going to print the article out and keep it close by for the next round of reviews.