We're a little crazy, about science!

Countdown to the grant submission

We’re just days away from the deadline for the grant I’m writing. We’ve got an awesome team of people that have agreed to be a part of this project and the funding will go towards the big idea I had several years back (what I’m calling my “super secret technique”) so I’m excited! My main-PI thinks the proposal has a good chance of being funded and I trust his judgement since he’s been doing this for a long time. So today I figure I can brag about the team and what will happen in the next few days.

Back in February I was given a few weeks to write a full grant proposal… and I did (here)! However, we missed the deadline for submission. It was a bad time for a deadline like that, plus COVID, plus all sorts of other things, so my main-PI ran out of time to get the supporting documents together for the submission. I was bummed out a bit, since the call for the grant was for advancing research in spinal cord injury and my dissertation topic fit the call perfectly. Then something amazing happened, the deadline was extended! The due date was pushed to… this Friday. Yep, just a few days away.

Thankfully we have everything ready, mostly. There’s always going to be a rush to make edits and changes, but overall the proposal feels pretty solid and my main-PI should be sending it back to me sometime today for revisions then it gets sent over to our collaborator on the project for his review (assuming he will have time since it’s just a few days away from the deadline). Overall I’m happy with how the proposal turned out, I mean I wrote it so I should be happy, but the last version tried to shoehorn a different collaborator into the project and it just wasn’t that great of a fit. I wasn’t thrilled about it and my main-PI I think realized it after we missed the last deadline because he asked me to remove the sections pertaining to that collaborators contributions to the project.

Which brings me to the bragging portion of today’s post! We have a new(ish) doctor at the hospital were I do 90% of my research (it’s only supposed to be 50%, but really it’s like 99% and hopefully it will soon be 100%). He’s a super awesome neurosurgeon. He’s the one who let me sit in on the last surgery I attended (here) and he’s offered to let me sit in on as many as I want, so that’s kind of cool! He was asked to write a letter of support for the project, which he did, it was wrong but he did it.

The letter he wrote was in support of me and the work I want to do on the project, not the project itself so he had to go back and rewrite it. However, I got to read the letter of support he wrote for me and let me tell you, I have never seen someone say such nice things about me. The things he said about me literally brought tears to my eyes, it was very kind and while I want to refute all of it, I’m simply trying to just accept the compliment. Not an easy thing to do, but I’m trying to fight the urge to disagree with everything he wrote. Just gonna not write any thoughts to the contrary. Moving on…

Now that we have a collaborator who’s a much better fit for the project, I feel pretty hopeful with our chances of it getting funded. I don’t think my main-PI would spend so much time and effort on the proposal if he didn’t think it would be funded and he’s had really good luck with getting funding, especially as of late, so all around looking forward to seeing the outcome. I mean it would finally give me exactly what I need to do my PhD and even if I get my favorite choice, option one (from here), the funds would still be allocated for the project, which means new equipment! We’re already asking for funding for equipment from the proposal, but this would mean extra funds for another student or extra equipment that we may need to pull off the stuff I want to do.

I’m trying to not get my hopes up about the project being funded, since all my other attempts thus far have failed, but you need keep trying. The proposal that was never submitted will never get funded, or something like that. So how long do I have to wait before I find out what the outcome will be? Sometime in November roughly. I think, actually now I’m not 100% sure. I know funding would come in the spring term which starts after the new year, so I’m assuming sometime in November. I guess not knowing in this case is actually a good thing, I’m not sure I would want to know the exact date. I knew the date we were going to hear back about the R21 grant and that was a brutal countdown! Speaking of which, I need to explain what happened with that. Maybe tomorrow.

For now I need to work on the grant proposal, while writing this my main-PI sent his revisions. He says it looks good, which I agree, so now time to see what our collaborator thinks! We’re so close to the deadline I’m a little anxious. If it were me I would submit everything a week before just to be safe, but I guess that’s why I’m not the PI!

But enough about us, what about you?

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