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[Mar. 13th, 2006|05:33 pm]
Man, do I hate writing grant proposals.

[User Picture]From: ng_nighthawk
2006-03-13 06:40 pm (UTC)
So I'm opening myself for a rant here, but what sucks about them? Is it anything like writing a request for proposal (rfp)? I've done that, and it's not pretty.

"Let's ask the same question 5 different ways and make sure they don't contradict themselves!"

Of course, just cutting and pasting would be inappropriate, as that would point out that you noticed their trick. You have to come up with 5 different answers so it's clear that you can know the answer to that question in every possible way.

So, similarly annoying?
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-03-13 11:45 pm (UTC)
No, it's just that I'm very bad at the whole "explain what you're proposing to do and why it's a worthwhile endeavor we should fund" thing.

I can do it fine in casual conversation, but in writing, it's like I can't get any traction on where to start and how to structure it. I think it's just something that I'm bad at.

I'm going to try and track down an example to modify, and see if that gets me anywhere...
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[User Picture]From: melted_snowball
2006-03-14 01:09 pm (UTC)
No, the problem with grantwriting is that you have to prove that you're going to be successful in something you've not yet done. This is really bizarre, of course, since in science, we don't know what will happen.

If you're reasonably established, you can cheat, by spending a lot of time talking about what you have done, and how successful it was. But especially for people writing one of their first (is that true for you, dr_tectonic?), they totally suck, and you just stare at blank pages saying, "um, I think this is a good idea. Why can't I fill 15 pages with it? Will they hate me if I only write 12? I don't have 10 related publications in my CV! Ack!"

[Or, at least, I do.]
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-03-14 01:17 pm (UTC)
I think this is the second grant proposal I've ever written.

We actually have a leg up, in that we've actually coded a simplified prototype of the model and shown that it gives sensible results, so that's not as heinous.

I'm just agonizing over the "how do I even start this thing" part of it.

My CV doesn't have any related publications...
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From: detailbear
2006-03-14 02:23 pm (UTC)
Don't start at the beginning. From my business report writing days: write the middle, the meaty part, first. Then write the introduction and conclusion, since they're just bookends around the middle. That's the nice part about word processors. ;-)

If I was having trouble writing the middle, I'd do bullet points of key facts, then build a paragraph around them.

I understand they recommend doing essays similarly. Hope this helps.
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[User Picture]From: melted_snowball
2006-03-14 03:21 pm (UTC)

Good luck. Years down the road, you can look at the blank text of a book chapter and have the same experience...*sigh*
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