Too much medical research is injurious to health, seems to be the case at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, as the institute has decided that any faculty member cannot take up more than three research projects at a time as principal investigator.
The PGIMER doctors receive funding from various sources such as department of science and technology and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) among others to carry out medical research at the institute.
The research is carried out in the shape of projects.
The decision was circulated on Tuesday among the PGIMER doctors, which left many in jitters. As per the communication, the institute had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Dr S Varma, head, department of internal medicine, to make a policy regarding maximum number of research projects at the institute.
The committee in its meeting held on April 12 recommended that at a time, “under normal conditions, a principal investigator should only be implementing three extramural research projects.” In exceptional conditions, one more can be allowed but it needs per mission from the dean and director of the institute.
Besides this, it has also been decided that a principal investigator should only implement a maximum of three clinical trials or drug trials at a time.
However, MD/MS DM/M. Ch thesis projects will be out of this purview of restriction. Interestingly, the decision has come at a time when it is common to see that any faculty member having 8-10 research projects in hands at a time.
The faculty of the PGIMER has already started opposing this decision. According to a senior professor of the institute, who wished not to be named, said the decision would hit the research activity at the institute badly.
Reacting to the decision, Dr Virendra Singh, president of the PGI Faculty Association, said, “How it matters if someone is writing one or 10 projects, why doctors are being stopped from pursuing research, which is the real mandate of the institute.
The institute should encourage research. Extramural research projects mean the institute will get more grants from outside. However, the decision will go against the institute. I am surprised how they reached the figure of three.”
Significantly, the PGIMER produced around 1,200 research papers in 2013. The institute also attracted around Rs 19 crore as extramural grants for various research projects.