Scientists' Small Errors in Managing Research Grants Can Mean Big Penalties

Small Errors in Managing Research Grants Can Mean Big Penalties 1

Douglas Graham, Roll Call Photos, Newscom

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, and other legislators have taken a strong interest in efforts by federal grant-making agencies, like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, to attack research fraud.

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close Small Errors in Managing Research Grants Can Mean Big Penalties 1

Douglas Graham, Roll Call Photos, Newscom

Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, and other legislators have taken a strong interest in efforts by federal grant-making agencies, like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, to attack research fraud.

It sounds like a mathematical word problem gone wrong.

James M. Fadool, an associate professor of biology at Florida State University, got a federal grant of more than $300,000 to study eye defects using zebra-fish. Some of that money went to pay another researcher, $1,536 biweekly, to assist with the research and manage the lab where the fish were kept.

But an audit by the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services determined that $922 of that