Fifty Thoughts You’ll Have Writing a Grant Proposal

As an early stage researcher, there are a number of thoughts that will cross your mind as you try to write a grant. Allow me to demonstrate.

  1. That grant is totally relevant to me!
  2. Oh, but the deadline is next month.
  3. Still, that’s so relevant. Damn did they write this call for me?
  4. OH MY GOD LOOK HOW MUCH MONEY IS IN THAT POT
  5. I could get a mortgage if I got this grant.
  6. That’s Han Solo levels of wealth right there.
  7. That’s it. I’m applying. What’s there to lose, right?
  8. Well I might lose my early stage researcher status.
  9. Is there a thing about that?
  10. Why are all these guidelines so long? Jesus.
  11. Ok, I’m probably still eligible for early stage researcher status if I apply.
  12. Is this idea going to work? I will have to bend it a bit.
  13. What are the buzzwords of the month?
  14. Can I link this to climate change?
  15. I can probably link this to climate change.
  16. I’m really not sure if this idea is going to work.
  17. Hell, I’m going to email Betsy about it, Betsy’s pretty cool, she’ll tell me more.
  18. Unless she decides she wants to apply for it.
  19. Maybe I could email Colin, Colin’s always really helpful.
  20. I should probably bring this up at a team meeting.
  21. But I’ve only got a month till the deadline.
  22. Fuck it. Write a grant and take it to the boss. What can go wrong?
  23. Hmm. Will they accept that the aim of this project is to keep me in booze for the foreseeable future?
  24. Damn, only 700 words to write my outline, that’ll be tough.
  25. Um.
  26. What is my aim again?
  27. Why is this so hard? I wrote a bloody thesis. I write for a living. God. Maybe a cup of tea will help.
  28. 600 words to go.
  29. I’ll do a literature search! I’m amazing at literature searches.
  30. Wow, quite a few people have done this.
  31. Okay, that is in fact my idea.
  32. They did it in the eighties.
  33. Well I’ll update the research.
  34. I should have emailed Betsy.
  35. Okay I can write this.
  36. I survived the PhD, I can survive being a real academic.
  37. Mendeley, why are you so awesome?
  38. Okay it’s done! It only took me . . . oh my god the deadline is tomorrow.
  39. Quick! What does the boss think?
  40. What do you mean, the grant doesn’t fund overheads?
  41. DAMN IT.
  42. Maybe we can repurpose it for a Fellowship?
  43. Yeah, that experiment is way too expensive, I should take it out.
  44. And Colin says this other experiment won’t work because he tried it twenty five years ago and never published the non-results.
  45. I can see that mortgage slipping through my fingers.
  46. Oh yeahhhhhh, technician time.
  47. No I did not budget technician time.
  48. Yes the project would pretty much demand a whole three technicians.
  49. What do you mean the uni already put a proposal in to this grant?!?!?!
  50. Fuck it. Write it up as a M.Sc project for next year and hope you get a good student.
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