Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Submitting a grant is like lottery ticket?

I had a senior collegue chat with me the other day. He asked me how was I doing and if I had submitted a grant. I said yes I have, and will see what will happen. What I meant was that we will see how good or bad reviews we get and if we will get the award or not depends on that.

He replied...good, but you know submitting a grant is like a lottery ticket. You may win and get the money..or you can just buy another one.

This got me thinking. Is submitting and getting a grant really like a lottery? No matter how much sweat and blood I put in the ideas, the writeup, and awesome preliminary results?

For me I don't want to think that this is true (may be it is you tell me). I want to think that the ideas that I put on the paper are worth something. I do acknowledge that there is an element of luck on which reviewer gets your grant proposal and how much money does the PO has etc. But it certainly does not mean that it is like lottery where a random chance would determine your fund-ability. Does it?


  1. Dr. Noncoding ArenayJune 24, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I think comparing it to a lottery is just to indicate how abysmally low the funding rates are. In other words, there are so many excellent grant applications (of which all cannot be funded) that who gets funded finally comes down to a certain factors that fall beyond how much sweat, blood and awesome science you put in the application. What those factors are, I do not know since I don't have experience with reviewing grants yet, but I think that's a great reason to get onto a review panel so that you can learn more about how exactly one excellent application gets funded while another does not.

    1. Yes, this is exactly my point. It is blood, sweat and awesome ideas that make the application worth while to be funded. PO not having money does not make such an application worthless. It is just they don't have money to give you and this is where your luck counts. Not before that :D