Category Archives: Grant proposals

NSF Preproposals – a failed idea at DEB and IOS?

Preproposals came to DEB and IOS about three years ago to solve the problem of too many proposals and too few willing reviewers. They were also thought to solve the problem of too much investigator time wasted on writing unfunded … Continue reading

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What I learned at the National Science Foundation

Here are some things I learned last week at NSF while serving on the Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences. I expect every time I go I’ll learn something new, but in some ways what a beginner learns first can be … Continue reading

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What is NSF’s Advisory Committee for the Biological Sciences supposed to do?

When I got asked to be on the Advisory Committee (AC) for the Biological Sciences at NSF, I said yes. I supposed this was an important thing to do. I have been trying to say no and preserve time for … Continue reading

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What to wear when you go to the National Science Foundation?

You just got chosen for an NSF panel. You’ve read the proposals, submitted your reviews and are flying into DC tomorrow. But there is one last thing. What do you wear? I suppose no one talks about this because after … Continue reading

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How to increase research creativity: work differently!

Isn’t it too bad there isn’t a simple formula for having the best ideas? Isn’t it too bad you can’t easily find the best thing to study, something easy, fun, high impact, and easily published in PNAS? It may seem … Continue reading

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Big ideas from the famous Guarda, Switzerland course in evolutionary biology

Why is it so hard to come up with a big idea and a way to test it? What if you could choose any idea in any system, then plan an experiment unlimited by funds or manpower? What is your … Continue reading

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Are you willing to pay for advice for your NSF pre-proposal?

I got an email just now from Dave Stephens that he has a book for sale on Amazon on how to write an NSF preproposal. If you are willing to shell out $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $16.16 for … Continue reading

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Why don’t more panels fund Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants?

What if you write a proposal and get told it does not fit in this panel or in any panel for your kind of proposal? Wouldn’t that be frustrating? It is true that just writing the proposal is a very … Continue reading

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Impress us with your grit: apply for small grants when you are a student

Grit. It is what matters, along with some altruism, intelligence, creativity, and enthusiasm. But grit is what it takes to get the paper out the door. It is what it takes to finish that Ph.D. It is what it takes … Continue reading

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How to get a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, a SURF

If you aren’t going to change your life by studying at a biological field station, there are few better things to do with an undergraduate summer than research. One of the more interesting programs is called SURF, Summer Undergraduate Research … Continue reading

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