Category Archives: Grants

Grant review: best proposal or most needy scientist?

In a few short hours I read nine proposals from graduate students interested in funding for their research. Because this was a focused call, they were largely similar. They all involved field work, natural history, and queries into the relationship … Continue reading

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How to creatively work the room at an NSF meeting

You’ve arrived at NSF, or NIH, or at any kind of small meeting with a job to do. You walk in the door, see the big table and find your name plate. Do you sit down and get to work, … Continue reading

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Do you know about National Science Foundation Dear Colleague Letters?

While you are struggling with your US National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals, wondering if your preproposal will survive the current round of evaluations, did you know there is a very simple and fast way to get some extra funds? It … Continue reading

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Maybe you like preproposals after all

My comments criticizing preproposals that also mention community opinion are just that, opinion. But there is a real study on the issue, reported in BioScience, and blogged about by DEB itself, here. They also in their piece give links that … Continue reading

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Are there secret standards at funding agencies?

Wouldn’t you be horrified to hear there is a secret standard at your funding agency that you could easily meet, had you been told about it? I sure would. It is easy to see imaginary secret standards when funding rates … Continue reading

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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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