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Putting Away the Grant.

3 December 2012

My grant is almost done. It’s not nearly as good as it would have been if I’d been invested in staying where I am, instead of being invested in getting the hell out for the last 4 months. But it’s not terrible, and it’s got two major things going for it. The first is that I was informed by my PO that the funding agency has been looking for it. They’re eager to see me submit based on my pilot study, which was essentially an R03eq. It’s nice to know that they’ve been eager to see the results of my pilot and are hopeful about continuing to fund my ideas. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That attitude will last exactly until they read the first sentence of my abstract. The new grant needs to be strong to be funded.

The sec0nd reason is that it’s small. Yes, I’m writing an R01eq. But I’m writing it for three years and $500K. I’ve been told by many scientists on twitter that I’m insane for doing that. However, my PO says that that will actually position me very strongly. I don’t know about the NSF or NIH. But my funding agency is looking at any way they can to curtail costs and increase the number of awards they make. Investigators who pad the budgets are getting dinged. My last grant was at the full 4 year, $1.1M max, and the expense was commented upon negatively by reviewers.

So, I have a lean, inexpensive, shorter-term grant application that is specifically anticipated by the funding agency based on my prior work. That’s all hopeful. But the truth is, I don’t expect it to be funded on first submission (even though my pilot study was.). I expect it to be reasonably scored and get constructive, directed comments which will allow me to resubmit a fundable A1. Which I don’t think I have time for. And in the meantime, I just hope like hell that PECMC offers me a post.

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