Second time around

more-detail-2Yesterday, I was providing advice to a researcher for a grant application resubmission.

You know how it goes: they had put something in last year, it had been reviewed, then rejected. I offered to have a look at it, to treat it as a first draft for this year’s application round.

It turned out that I thought that the researcher needed to:

  • Clarify the core research question,
  • Cut back on the background, and
  • Flesh out the project plan.

This is pretty standard. I tell people this a lot!

I’m thinking of getting a ‘Detail! Detail! Detail!’ t-shirt made up.

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Who will win?

Four colourful dragon boats on a lake in Nanjing.

Dragon boats, by Jonathan O’Donnell on Flickr

In the last week, academics around Australia have been receiving referee reports from the Australian Research Council. Yesterday, I read just over 50 of these reports. Today I spoke to my boss about them. I said that, in general, I was happy with them. We talked about some specific applications and some specific comments in the assessments. Then, right at the end of the call, he asked me the question that I’d been dreading.

So, who do you think will win? What do you think our chances are?

Don’t ask me that. Please, don’t ask me that. In the same way that I can’t tell an academic if they’ll get the grant or not, I can’t tell my boss, out of all our applications, who will win. I can tell who got positive comments and who didn’t, which might allow you to make your own educated guess. I can tell you who, in my opinion, deserves to win. But I don’t pick winners. Here’s five good reasons why. Read more of this post