When I got my mail on Friday there was a letter from our research office. I had submitted a proposal for a small internal competition a while back to cover a grad student summer salary and a trip this summer and seeing the letter I knew that the decision was contained within. With the trail of proposals currently lying dead in my wake I immediately assumed that I was going to add this one to the pile, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that the proposal has been funded.
This is the same competition I applied for last year with too much data and too promising a project. So, this year I changed my approach and used a different project and was more explicit about how this money would help obtain funding in the future. Obviously, that made a difference and now I can spend the start-up money I had earmarked for the student and trip on other things.
It's a small victory, but a good first step.