# Of grants and grunts

I’m about to finish writing up the proposal of a research grant I’m applying for. It’s about the use of Regression Discontinuity Design to evaluate interventions in primary care.

The idea is quite clever, I believe: say that there is a clear rule to guide the way in which patients are (or aren’t) given a treatment, and this rule is associated with a continuous variable. For example, say that you are given drug $d$ if your blood pressure is above some level $x$, but you are not if it is below. If this is reasonable, subjects just on either side of the threshold can, *to some degree of approximation*, be considered as randomly allocated to the treatment, thus mimicking controlled conditions.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily eliminate bias and confounding, but it goes quite some ways in limiting the impact of these problems. Also, it turns out that in clinical practice there are quite a few examples of situations that fit this framework. So we’re proposing all sorts of cool investigations $-$ hopefully they’ll like it and give us all the money we’ve asked, which I’ll then use to buy new players for newly promoted Sampdoria.

That’s for the grants part.

Grunts are about:

- the fact that I’m really getting fed up with reviewing the proposal and I’m
**really**looking forward to the moment I’ll submit it; - the fact that the waitress misplaced our pizza order, which means it took her forever to bring our food;
- English summer rain (which at the moment seems to have stopped, but the guy on BBC has just said there’s more to come).