Monday, January 12, 2009

Grant applications

I've never really applied for a biggish grant. I found an announcement and a senior person to work with me on a pre-proposal. We planned a collaboration with some of the senior person's colleagues.

Only one application was allowed per area and a few days before the deadline we found out about another group in the area and for various reasons we had to collaborate rather than compete. During a couple of hours of conference calls, we spoke about exactly how we would merge the two studies. The "merged" pre-proposal was submitted with no mention of us and not even showed to us in advance. Even more egregiously, the merged application requests funding --- and this is a full third of the requested budget --- for a role that I would have done for free, and in an area where frankly I have far more cutting-edge knowledge, albeit less experience.

Their way of telling us that they don't want to work with us was by sending to us their pre-proposal a few days after it's been handed in and having us notice that there's no mention of our participation.

Reassuring update: I forwarded the pre-proposal to someone who wasn't included on the recipient list, a pretty senior person. I phrased it neutrally, "Even after our conversations with them last week, I'm not sure exactly what they have in mind, but wanted to make sure you had the pre-proposal."

The reply: apparently they don't play well with others.

Well said! Still royally rotten of them.

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