Thursday, August 22, 2013

Your Proposal Received Glowing Reviews, But We Are Not Going To Fund It

It is the sign of the times, I suppose.

I've submitted quite a few funding proposals, and some got rejected, while others got funded. Nothing unusual. However, the ones that got rejected typically have mixed reviews. I remember one where 2 of the reviewers liked it, and one was not too thrilled about it. It got rejected, which was not surprising. But in all my years of doing this, I don't ever recall where a proposal got really glowing reviews, and then it was summarily rejected!

That is what just happened to me (I'm not going to name the agency and anything else, because I am not bitter, really!). We just heard the news of the rejection, and I went to look at the reviews. At the end of reading all three of them, my jaw dropped. I can't remember reading a more positive, glowing reviews of my proposals before. The reviewers did read the proposal carefully, and actually got the novel method we were proposing. The whole proposal got very good rating. But, obviously, these mean nothing because, in the end, it got rejected.

I will also say that I am not surprised. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised considering the severe budget constraints that many of the US funding agencies are under right now. It is up to the fractured US legislators, and ultimately, the people, to put a value on science research and how it has affected the US economy and our lives thus far. If this is not of any value, then the US certainly deserves to undergo its current, slow decline of its civilization and suffers from the same fate as other great civilizations of the world throughout history.

Oh, did I say that I'm not bitter? :)


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