Wednesday, January 6, 2016

NSF Pending Grants and Grey Area

I have an NSF grant that is pending and it has been (almost) 6 months. This is a source of anxiety as well as some hope for me. From what I have read on other blogs it seems that the particular grant probably would have fallen in the "grey" area.

I know there is not much I can do except for wait but in a given day I pendulum from joy to anxiety and back like 9 times. Let me try to explain my emotional roller coaster to you.

1) Most of my peers have received a decline email by now. So this is probably a good news for me since the grant must have fallen in the grey area AND the PO wants to fund it (hopefully).

2) The particular program that I have submitted my grant has not given away any of the awards yet. At least this is what I have been able to get from google searches. This indicates that may be the particular program is lagging in its review process. This can go either way.

I am probably some where in the middle and would get/not get a grant based on the monies the particular PO has. This middle is where the hope is and there also hides the anxiety that I do not know what to do about.

I also feel kind of alone in this as well since I don't know who to talk to. My family is not academic and do not understand the underlying anxieties of being a scholar. I do not have any close academic friends here in this small city. I had very close 2 academic/personal friends but 1 of them has chosen to join industry (couldn't get a TT position) and another has joined a university abroad (so doesn't have similar funding situation as me). So I feel I am alone in this TT position (which I am very grateful for don't get me wrong) but I wish I had some one who I could talk to about my grants and the anxieties without worrying about being judged. We all know if I can talk to my colleagues they are gonna judge me.

I plan to send PO an email once 6 months are complete but that is still 2 weeks away.


  1. I was in a similar situation mid last year, it was well past the 6-month mark, nearly 9 months before I heard anything; did not end well, sadly (I didn't get the grant). Sometimes the POs are just overwhelmed and/or perhaps disorganized. The reports were very detailed, so I wrote a much better grant this year; we'll see, I guess.

    If you need to talk/vent, feel free to email me. I understand that this TT business can be very alienating. That's why we have the academic blogosphere!

    1. Thank you xykademiqz. Really appreciate it.