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Peculiar Funding Rules.

26 July 2012

I have a grant, which ends in about two more months, which is my only funding. I’ve done a good job, and I have a paper out there, and another which I just finished up. I’ll be writing a follow-up to this grant. It was a pilot and now it’s time to write the R01 equivalent based on the preliminary work I did. I’m proud of it. I just hope my institution feels the same way. I have a lot of irons in various fires, and I need at least one of them to strike, or I’m in job trouble.

But I’ve talked about all that before. Something happened yesterday, though which is strange but good but not as good as I wish it were, etc. I was offered a chance for supplemental funding to my current grant. Hooray! Right? Well, sort of. Obviously, grant money is good! And I’ll be able to use this new funding to grease some wheels that were otherwise ungreasable. But it will also have to be spent in the same two month period that the rest of my grant money had to be spent.

So, I get to spend a lot of money over the next two months. Which is nice. And the indirects will make my institution very happy. They’re having some financial problems related to the end of the fiscal year, which basically means they have to dump cash, which means that I have to dump cash, which really means that they didn’t fund enough applications, or they wouldn’t have this problem. Now, my own unfunded application wasn’t right on the line, so I’m not too frustrated that this means I was passed over despite available funding. But somebody was. Several somebodies.

What’s really frustrating is that I am not allowed to extend this funding to the next fiscal year. Though, several people are working on stupid accounting tricks to make that happen, which is very odd to me. But I’ll be able to make important contributions with this money in ways that were not possible before, and it’ll curry favor with some colleagues. Including folks as Local Research University, who are still trying to hire me.

It’s a strange world, grant money. Excesses and absurdities, followed by drought and famine. All because I’m forbidden from treating the money with reason, circumspection, and stewardship. Ridiculous.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 26 July 2012 10:56

    I’ll pay you now, you pay me later is pretty common sauce.

    • 26 July 2012 11:17

      Of course. But I’m new to it. And “common” is not the same as “sane and rational”.

  2. 27 July 2012 07:12

    We’ve had this happen twice before. If you have a few “shovel ready” projects around, it’s a good way to get something off the ground. Someone throws money at you and you just roll with it.

  3. 2 August 2012 11:16

    It is feast or famine when it comes to grants. I was glad to have relatively stable funding for many years. It really helped build a good team.

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