The bad good week

Jun 14 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers]

There's nothing quite like being so close, yet so far, but this week has pretty much fit that to a T.

First I got a call from NSF to let me know that my proposal has been recommended for funding... but there probably won't be money in the budget this round so I may have to resubmit and hope for the best next round.

Then the NIH scores come out on a different proposal and we got a 27. Payline last round was 24.

FFS, we've got two proposals on very different topics teetering on the edge and I'm supposed to be prepping resubmits for July, which could be a waste of my time, but are needed to cover my ass in case one or both proposals don't fly. It's great that we're close, but this is not horseshoes. In the mean time, I wait.

And write. Which is hard to do with your fingers crossed.

13 responses so far

  • Ink says:

    Fingers crossed for you, so you can write. Good luck! (Or is this one of those things where superstition demands that you don't say that, like in the theater, where you just say "Break a leg"? If so, then...um...break a test tube!)

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Thanks, Ink.

    And I don't think there is a science Macbeth or anything of that nature.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Yeah more like science Lady Macbeth

  • GMP says:

    Debbie Downer here -- I hope there's good panel memory in your NSF division. Because there's none in mine, so the fact that I got nearly funded in one cycle means absolutely jack shit the next time around.

  • odyssey says:

    The NSF panels I've been on tend to have quite good memories. Perhaps GMP's has more turnover than those in the BIO directorate.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Based on conversations I have had with a few POs in the last week or so, I'm not so worried about the memory of the panel.

  • GMP says:

    Seems like the BIO directorate panels operate not that differently from NIH study groups. In the MPS and ENGR directorates, there is no continuity in the panel (again, the divisions I am familiar with)-- the next panel is completely different than the first, and it's extremely uncommon (as in, it's not done) to address the previous panel's comments in the resubmission. Oh well.

    Good luck with the resubs, PlS.

  • odyssey says:

    BIO panels aren't really like NIH study sections. Although there is reasonable continuity, the panel makeup is changing from year to year. I get the impression a lot has to do with what kinds of proposals are received that round.

    it's extremely uncommon (as in, it's not done) to address the previous panel's comments in the resubmission.

    It's not common in BIO either, at least in my experience. But why not? I've never understood that. Way back when I first started on TT I had a proposal get a good, but not quite fundable score. I called up my PO and she strongly recommended that I explicitly address the panels concerns in the resubmission. I did, got great reviews, including a comment in the panel summary about clearly having addressed the concerns of the previous panel, and was funded. Okay, that's only an N of 1, but honestly, as a reviewer and panelist I'd really like to see more people do this.

  • GMP says:

    Odyssey, I think we touched upon this issue a few months back, perhaps also on PlS's blog (sorry PlS for hijacking your thread). After that discussion, I actually followed up with several of my colleagues and several NSF program officers about including a response to the previous panel's comments. None of my colleagues have ever done it and several commented that they hadn't even known it would be an option/allowed. The program officers all dryly responded that it is extremely uncommon; not a single one encouraged it or hinted that they thought it was a good idea. I guess it's the culture. As I said, each panel in the divisions I am familiar with is 100% different from the previous one, so the only panel memory would potentially be that of the program officer...

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I have been explicitly told to respond to reviews by POs and those responses have been positively remarked upon by reviewers, so culture probably does dictate when this is a good idea.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    A response section is also common when I review proposals, as well, so I know I am not alone in doing this.

  • NatC says:

    Sounds like my week.
    Frustrating.
    Good luck...

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