Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shopping my Proposal

We accidentally bumped into a former colleague who is now a professor in another department at my university while shopping. Actually, this guy was originally hired to replace me after I didn't re-apply for my job back in 2001. We then overlapped for a year as I searched for the position that eventually took me to upstate New York. Anyway, he agreed to take a look at my proposal. He already got back to me and says it has all the elements needed for a successful proposal: "It's in a key area, you clearly have published on the topic and there are important gaps that you identify that should be funded." I agree that these are the key things a proposal needs. They want to give money to people with good track records of doing research in the areas that are of interest to the funders. The bit about identifying gaps refers to discussing recent top level research on the subject and pointing out where it could be extended. A weak proposal would come from someone who doesn't have a strong track record in the area, shows that they aren't really up to speed on the debates in the area, and is anyway in an area that is somewhat peripheral to what the funders are interested in.

I still don't know if I am actually eligible to apply for grants in these areas. I'm having a hard time tracking down the liasion guy.

Anyway, I now have more confidence in approaching a big name person who might be able to collaborate and/or provide feedback. Hopefully, I can raise awareness that I am doing research in areas of interest whether I am eligible for a specific grant or not.

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