I am writing yet another proposal. It is a combination of current research interests, but in a different and more difficult model than I am the one I am using right now. This new model will let me address new questions. It will let me sneak some very interesting basic research (fundamental systems development) into questions that have high clinical significance. I published on this model 15 years ago. But the world has changed, and I need more justification for The Model. The significance is there, solid, and so is innovation (this model in this field). But its a tricky model, they are difficult and fragile patients in the human clinical realm, and what was acceptable 15 years ago might now fly today.
So, I went to the literature and discover that other people have been using The Model big time for the last five years. They are answering other questions, physiology of other systems, but still using the model. Their 2013 and 2014 and 2015 papers are perfect for my justification. They have made The Model work. They have developed the detailed justification and mapping onto human clinical issues. I am golden.
So, to nail things down, I write to this guy. I send him my SA's and a couple of papers. I say "do you want to be a consultant on this proposal?". This is important grantsmanship, pay attention. 10 years ago it would have been sufficient to cite him (maybe, but maybe not). Now, for sure, I do not want to leave even a sliver of doubt that I can do this. Yes, I did it a while ago. But having one of the world's experts on The Model helping me will make a difference.
But! More! He had lots of incredibly good and insightful (not inciteful, and I wish that was a word) comments on my SA's. He's already improved the proposal. He invited me to come see his operation with The Model (too bad its >10hr drive, or I'd be on my way today). I will go, eventually.
We've been email chatting about our labs and how we run them, and we are on the same page. Despite difficulties, he runs a small operation. As do I, he does "animal call" at hours that are weird for young people and difficult for olders. He has a few trainees, and hires staff to help with animal care. We talked about fostering excellence is easier with a small group. We do not go to the same meetings, as there is no meeting for The Model, and we work in different systems. But there is huge potential for synthesis - provided I can get funded. Provided I can get data. Its all there in the future waiting. This is why I love science. I am so excited.