tensions in grant writing

Oct 12 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

There is in an inherent tension to all researchers: if funding is <20% or even < 10%, you have to get many proposals, either resubmits, or different projects, to get funded. Yet, just sending in any old thing without sufficient attention to quality, means that you can put in 100, and none will ever be funded.

Everyone always says: you need to get your best possible proposal in as often as possible.

I'm just seeing lots of proposals that are just not clear. It's not necessarily grantsmanship. Sometimes its the writing of explaining what the PI wants to do. Sometimes its the logic of what is being proposed. Sometimes it's either proposing to do too much, or writing too much.

Advice? get the meanest, nastiest, cruelest colleague you know to rip apart your proposal before you submit. If not the whole thing, at least the SA's.

3 responses so far

  • Absolutely essential advice!! And I add that one needs to get that critical input early enough to make intelligent use of the suggestions.

  • wally says:

    My new university lightly requires all grant applications to go through two levels of review: an aims review and a full mock review. I went through my first mock review here this week - it was brutal, but my grant will be all the better for it. Notably - they have documented a significant increase in funding since they instituted this requirement.*

    *They obvs can't actually require it - but they frame it as such to increase participation.

  • prof says:

    @wally, is the significant increase from a shrunken denominator?

    nothing I hate more than paternalistic development and grants offices. they have wasted days of my life.

Leave a Reply