Wednesday, June 27, 2012

3 Things to do While Waiting for Your Grant to Get Reviewed

You worked hard, followed all of this blog's advice, and submitted your best work for the proposal deadline.  Now it is time to...wait....and wait some more....for months.  Given the gap of 10 months or more that can occur between proposal submission and funded project, it is important that you resist the urge to rest on your laurels and coast through the next year of teaching, working on other projects, or staring out the window fantasizing about your plans for the grant.  Likewise, this is not the time to take an extended vacation, as tempting as this might be: 

Consider this: Your chances of receiving funding on any proposal, especially during the first submission, are extremely low.  Don't believe me?  Look at the NIH grant success rates.  Given these dim statistics, what's a scientist to do?  Here are some suggestions.

  1. Get to work!  Instead of waiting around and potentially waiting a year to find out you have been rejected and will need to start the process all over again with an A1 submission, be proactive and start working on the next grant proposal. 
  2. Analyze and Publish Data.  If you have previously completed studies or datasets waiting to be analyzed, make the time to complete your analysis and get some papers written and submitted.  If your grant is not funded, you will have more publications to use to enhance your biosketch, especially if the publications are relevant to your proposed project. 
  3. Stay Current.  Read new publications in your field and network with other scientists.  Keeping tabs on your particular niche will help you to find out what others are doing and planning.  If your grant proposal is not funded, you may be able to approach some of these people and ask them to serve as collaborators or consultants.  Or perhaps you may learn that some of the methods and techniques you have been using are outdated.  Any of this will be helpful knowledge if you must work on a resubmission. 

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