Below is a sample of the FAX-BACK comments we received for each topic raised in the May issue.

Your suggestions on the External Advisory Committee's report.

"It must be implemented and not shelved like all the previous reports. Has any Task Force report ever been implemented?" --Anonymous

"The External Advisory Committee Report places increased emphasis and importance on the review of the intramural research program by the Boards of Scientific Counselors. These reviews will therefore be critical to the career and research advancement of the intramural scientists. However, the intramural scientists have been provided with very little in the way of protection against unjust, incompetent or otherwise faulty reviews: the Report allows the scientist to make a written reply to the review but does not guarantee that any remedial action will by taken. It is therefore very important for the Administration and the intramural scientists to concern themselves with this problem and to see to that a reasonable and effective redress mechanism be incorporated into the review process." -- Judah L. Rosner, NIDDK

"Increased use of intramural scientists on DRG study sections would increase their awareness and interaction with the extramural community." -- Anonymous

"I thing much of their report (accountebility, not increasing intramural money) is "sour grapes". I think the NIH should take action to "police" our own decision-making policies." -- Anonymous

Your opinions about intramural scientists being ill-prepared for an extramural life and suggestions to remedy it.

"We are terrified of going into research on the outside. If our grants get rejected as frequently as our papers -- we will be in BIG TROUBLE, especially now!" -- Anonymous

"It varies from lab to lab depending on the Chief. Some are eminently prepared to compete; others are in the dark." --Anonymous

"If extramural scientists are surmising that intramural scientists are ill-prepared for research life in the outside world, I would guess that they are in error. Perhaps extramural scientists should spend a week in our intramural labs and find out what an intramural scientist's life is really like. Yes, there are differences in either direction you go, but demeaning intramural scientists is very inappropriate. Intramural scientists could enhance their knowledge about the NIH extramural grant process by spending a week or more in the Grants Management Branch of the ICD in which they work. It could also be a great learning experience for Health Scientist Administrators (usually Ph.D.s) to spend time doing the same in the field of their training in an intramural research lab." -- M.G. Marques, NINDS

"I have been trying to get information on extramural grant writing for 18 months. I have been at NIH for three years and will be required to begin writing for extramural grants July 1 when I begin an academic career in Chicago. I disagree that intramural scientists are ill-prepared for research life in the outside world, but I strongly believe a program is called for that would prepare us for extramural grant writing. I would like to improve my knowledge about the NIH extramural grant process since I am embarrassingly unprepared for this." -- A.K. Pajeau, NINDS

"As an Extramural HSA I enjoy reading about the intramural programs and scientists in The NIH Catalyst. We have so little communication exchange with them. Part I of the article on "The Other NIH" by Seema Kumar is on-target relative to the knowledge deficit of intramural scientists on extramural programs and mirrors some of my experiences with departing intramural scientists...who 'discover us' at the last hour. Not knowing the substance of the next two sections, I would hope that Ms. Kumar will include information for the intramural scientist about the existence of research training and career development programs which sometimes are overlooked but go hand-in-hand with the grants programs." -- F. Harding, NHLBI

"Absolutely not! Especially in terms of research. We also have grant writing seminars which should be of help." --

Editor's Note: Seema Kumar will discuss career development and mentorship in Part III of her article on the Other NIH in the next issue.

Are intramural scientists ill-prepared for the outside world?

"Absolutely not! Especially in terms of research. We also have grant-writing seminars which should be of help." -- Anonymous

On techniques you would like to see covered in our Hot Method Clinic and your suggestions on in-situ PCR.

"Atomic Force Microscopy (uses of)." -- Anonymous

"I have used in situ RT-PCR amplification and labeled-probe hybridization to detect several RNA viruses in paraffin-embedded brain tissue. I use a single primer pair to amplify a 300-800 bp sequence, which is then detected with a digoxygenin-labeled cDNA probe, antidigoxygenin antibody-paroxidase conjugate, and diaminodenzadine. Morphology is preserved, background is minimal, and controls remain unstained." -- Stuart H. Isaacson, NINDS

Your experiences with and suggestions on mentoring and educating young scientists.

"Male M.D.s get substantial mentoring; Ph.D.s less -- and women virtually none. To reverse the situation, have each section report on their efforts in writing each year on mentoring activities with a special section devoted to mentoring of women." -- Anonymous

"I think special attention should be focused on women and minorities." -- Anonymous

"It should be part of the performance plans! Don't give all the information to SD's and lab chiefs -- the real mentoring maybe lower down." -- Anonymous

"I think special attention should be focused on women and minorities." -- Anonymous