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Summary Statements Galore!

5 April 2013

So I got back two summary statements yesterday. The first was for my own big R01eq. Actually, I thought that I had trimmed it considerably, writing it for only $500,000 and 3 years. I thought that keeping it slim like that would make funding more likely. In fact, it just led reviewers to complain that it was too long and expensive, and that I should: (1) make it shorter, (2) add an implementation aim, and (3) reduce my effort. You can have any two. Not all three, idiots.

OK, enough of calling them idiots. They were actually very complimentary. I think I wrote that I got a pretty good score. My impact score was 221, and the funding line (lower is better) has traditionally been about 190. This funding agency doesn’t use percentiles, but it does publish them. I was in the 37th. A strong first submission, as everyone seemed to agree. Some relevant quotes:

“Very innovative study and a very good first submission.”

“The proposed research addresses an important issue using state-of the-art tools. The aims are particularly significant because they combine [Proprietary Grant Ideas].”

“This is a promising proposal in the area of management science/operations research, and should have substantial relevance to … operations.”

“This is really important work.”

“This is a very feasible project with an excellent jump from a [R03eq] to an [R01eq].”

“The scientific approach is well supported by the literature and their prior work.”

So, clearly, they liked it a lot. However, there were also some issues:

“The one limitation that I can identify is relatively poor description of their pilot findings.”

“What is lacking is an explanation of the next phase.”

“The three full years for the project are not justified.”

“The implementation plan for the findings is essentially absent.”

But overall, I think that the issues are all addressable and that this review is clearly a leading review to funding. I even got pretty good investigator scores (1.8, 1.9, 2.0), though they continue to note that I’m junior. Well, how do you expect junior investigators to become senior if you don’t give then an R01 when they write a grant worthy of one? I feel pretty confident that I could get this funded on A1.

So I’m pleased with that work. I wrote my own idea, and it was very well received. With a constructive review that I believe would lead to funding if I were to pursue it. But I have a new position now, where grant funding is not expected. And my new institution cannot receive funds from the agency to which I submitted that grant anyway. So it’ll almost certainly wither on the vine. Which is sad, because a grant like that could’ve really launched me to a professorship somewhere. Instead, on my CV all I have are a few R03-sized grants and a couple of smaller foundation grants. And while people don’t actively spit at those, they’re not tenure-track material.

The other summary statement I received was for an R03eq that, even though I wrote the first draft of the grant that was well scored but not funded when submitted to one agency, I was not the PI for this submission. I gave it to a friend who rewrote it and submitted it to the same agency as the above grant, with me as a CI. And it appears to be getting funded. Our score was 181, well below the historical funding lines for this mechanism. By comparison, my own R03eq that was funded was scored 202, which was the 11th percentile. Percentiles weren’t announced for this grant, but I think it’s safe to assume we’re in the low single digits.

Relevant comments:

“Novel systems engineering approaches in health care need to be encouraged and tested and this proposal is an example of how that can be done.”

“This is a novel proposal that focuses on an understudied topic in health care.”

“The PI targets a very interesting but important topic.”

“The approach here is one that holds considerable promise in that it addresses both [Proprietary Grant Ideas].”

“This is a sound pilot proposal that proposed to study an interesting, important, and neglected population.”

They had a few negatives, too, but they were superficial and perfunctory. So I feel good about this too. It’s almost certainly going to be funded, and we’re still working out how to accept the funding, considering that I’ve left and my institution let the PI go despite having this grant with this score out there. Now they’re scrambling to get him back so that they can accept the funding. I don’t know if it’ll happen. If it does, I’ll work on it from here. If it doesn’t, the institution will be throwing away about $125,000.

My old institution deserves to lose this for their stupidity and short-sightedness. But I actually want to do the work. Because it’s good work. It’ll make a difference in some people’s lives, and it’ll be good for my career. Especially because this PI really knows how to drive a project. So, here’s hoping.

And my A0 of the R01eq will keep for a few years. I may yet get the opportunity to revise. We’ll see. The future is a big place.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 April 2013 12:00

    “Scrambling to get him back”? Over R03 type money? Whut?

    • 5 April 2013 12:09

      Scrambling to get him a part-time position that would let them accept the money, and which would be paid for by the grant. Plus indirects.

  2. 5 April 2013 12:01

    Congrats on your review, btw. Well done with the project proposal.

  3. 5 April 2013 12:30

    Congrats! This sounds very positive. 🙂 And the future is indeed a big place.

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