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ARC Rejoinders Michael Reeder School of Mathematical Sciences and ARC Physics, Chemistry & Geosciences Panel.

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Presentation on theme: "ARC Rejoinders Michael Reeder School of Mathematical Sciences and ARC Physics, Chemistry & Geosciences Panel."— Presentation transcript:

1 ARC Rejoinders Michael Reeder School of Mathematical Sciences and ARC Physics, Chemistry & Geosciences Panel

2 Assessors Three types of assessors read your application: Members of the ARC College of Experts (CoE) OzReaders International Readers

3 ARC College of Experts ARC College of Experts: 77 members grouped in to 6 panels (e.g. PCG) Read DP applications (in addition to LP, LIEF, FF applications) Not necessarily experts in your specialist area

4 Oz Readers Oz Readers: Read up to ~20 DP applications Experts in your general area

5 International Readers Int Readers: Read 1-5 DP applications Selected for specific expertise in your area Selected by the CoE members

6 Assessors Reports 2 members of the CoE (in ARC-speak called EAC1 and EAC2) read your application and provide scores but do not write reports. 2 Oz Readers read your application, provide scores and write reports. 4 Int Readers are sent your application, and asked to provide scores and write reports. You can receive up to 6 reports

7 Initial Ranking of Applications The ARC calculates a weighted mean of all the assessors’ ranks, where the weights are given by the number of applications read by the assessor. (In ARC-speak, this is called the Weighted Average Percentage Rank - WAPR.) Hence, the EAC1 and EAC2 ranks contribute much more to the WAPR than the Int Readers and Oz Readers. Individual scores are meaningless - only relative scores matter.

8 Role of the Rejoinder EAC1 and EAC2 read the assessors’ reports and your rejoinder. Each EAC reads ~400 assessors reports and ~100 rejoinders. CoE members are permitted to alter their scores in light of the assessors’ reports and your rejoinder. This is especially significant if your proposal falls near the cut off.

9 Writing the Rejoinder You are writing for members of the CoE. Be succinct and avoid overly technical arguments. Don’t simply repeat positive comments made by the assessors - the EACs have read your proposal and the assessors’ reports.

10 Writing the Rejoinder Don’t be hostile. Respond to all criticisms. Back up your arguments with facts. Mention achievements since the application was submitted, e.g. new research results, publications, grants and prizes.

11 My Rejoinder I received 3 very positive reviews and one hostile assessment. The following is my rejoinder (over which I agonised). This is my approach to the problem - yours may be different (and better). The DP application was successful and fully funded.

12 My Rejoinder Three of the reports are fair and balanced (DG72036, DG79203, DG78266). They conclude that the proposed research is innovative, the work has national importance, that I have strong scientific reputation both nationally and internationally, and that I have established a very good track record. The referees make some mild critical remarks, all of which are reasonable and easily accommodated. The fourth report, DG78236, is neither fair nor balanced and contains statements which are simply wrong.

13 My Rejoinder DG78236 wrote: “…, I did not feel that the simulation of fire was being done using a model of sufficient or matching resolution with the MM5 climate model.” There are many things wrong with this criticism: MM5 is not a climate model, it is a numerical weather prediction model; MM5 is not mentioned anywhere in the proposal and I have no plans to use in my work; the work proposed will be done at very high resolution, approximately 500 m for the background flow and tens of metres on the fire-scale.

14 My Rejoinder DG78236 wrote: “ … the fire model was not detailed and I worry that it is not appropriate.” The mathematical details are not included in the grant application as they would not be terribly helpful for referees without intimate knowledge of the field. Instead, a broader summary of the model is included in the proposal, and the technical details are published in the papers cited. What aspects of the fire model worry the reviewer? At present the fire model is far and away the most detailed and realistic approach to the problem.

15 My Rejoinder DG78236 wrote: “ …, my biggest fear is that the lead scientist did not sufficiently outline how the coupled model would be used for fire management”. This comment reflects, what I believe to be, the central problem with bush fire science in Australia. Despite the importance of bushfires and prescribed burning to Australia, and the massive resources directed to operational fire management, the science of bushfires is still in its infancy. The basic science of how bushfires spread is poorly understood, and indeed, opinions still differ on such fundamental matters as the relative importance of radiation and convection. On the other hand, there are many operational management tools, but they are largely ad hoc and few (if any) are based on strong scientific principles. In Australia and overseas there is a tendency to put the cart before the horse – to develop elaborate management tools without first developing the underpinning science. The proposed research is aimed squarely at developing the underpinning science, which is the first step in better fire management.

16 My Rejoinder DG78236 wrote: “I also thought that the cost was a bit too high and there is no mention of the cost of computer resources – this being the most expensive part of the project. I doubt that the model will be useful running on the MacG5 that they want to buy”. The budget items are a post-doc, a graduate student, a G5 and some provision for conference travel; these are fairly modest requests. Much of the computing will be done on the VPAC cluster at no cost to ARC, and most of the analysis will be done on the G5 requested. However, I currently run very detailed numerical weather prediction codes on another G5 in the School of Mathematics with great success, and I intend to port the coupled atmosphere-fire code to the requested G5 as this will enable the code to be more widely distributed and used (which is a necessary step if the model is to become operationally useful). I think that the reviewer greatly underestimates what can be achieved with modern desktop computing.

17 My Rejoinder … Since the current application was submitted I have had 3 more papers accepted for publication and have submitted a further 3.

18 Remember The aim is to convince the CoE that your application should be ranked highly. Respond to every critical comment. Construct a measured, well-argued case.


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