Drugmonkey has an excellent post up a couple of days ago about Grant Reviewer Burnout. I was almost too tired to read it because I’ve got serious grant writer burnout…. I’ve fallen into proposal purgatory and can’t get out…! This is especially difficult when it happens at the beginning of the academic year and you are teaching simultaneously, and then absolutely every graduate student in the universe is trying to schedule a committee meeting or a prelim- and is in your office trying to get on your schedule.
My particular difficulties right now are three-fold. First, I know I probably shouldn’t say this out loud- but I really hate the continuous re-writing. I know it makes the science and the overall proposal better, I know. But- I find it boring as all hell- and so it is very hard to motivate myself to keep re-writing the same proposal- to make sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed- and I’ve answered criticisms like- you don’t have any experience with XYZ tissue culture cell line… when anyone bothering to look at my publication list can see the blood, sweat and tears that I’ve expended in the tissue culture hood on other, more difficult cell lines and primary cells. That kind of stuff just makes me crazy.
And the second thing- it wouldn’t be so bad if it was just writing out the proposal- but there is all this other paperwork that goes along with the science parts- all very important- that drains me. For those of you that are uninitiated- this is an approximate list of what goes along with the proposal in addition to the science parts…
- Your up-to-date CV
- Your collaborators/Co-PIs up-to-date CVs
- Collaboration letters
- Subcontract/consortium agreements
- Description of the facilities
- Description of the equipment
- A project summary
- A project narrative (I’m still need an explanation of why I need a summary and a narrative every single time… because it seems silly to have these as separate elements… )
- Resource sharing agreements
- Personnel justification
- Description of the use of vertebrate animals
- Select Agent Forms
- Public Access Forms
- Required Assurances
There is, of course, more that I never see because the administrators who do the submitting take care of that paperwork… thank goodness. …stuff like cost sharing agreements, all the routing signatures from every level of the institution…etc etc ETC.
And finally- the third thing- writing two different proposals on two different projects at the same time, for closely staggered deadlines. I’m going to go insane. I haven’t mastered how to do this yet-the one that goes later is always going to be less than perfect.
Oh, I’m tired. I miss my kids- and I’m forcing myself to take it easier this week even though I have a deadline again next week. Last night by 6 year old announced that she’s got a little boyfriend, he runs fast and has red hair. I’ve been away from home too much, and the drdrA grant writing playlist is continuously playing and getting stale….