Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The way things work

Survival and success in science is hard; especially, getting a permanent
job and obtaining research funding.

The questions that are largely irrelevant and many people spend their
time talking about are:

How do you think the system works?
How do you think the system should work (i.e., justly and efficiently)?

but rather

How does the system actually work?

Here are a few tips I give people that may help answer this question with regard to grant applications.
  • look at copies of successful applications
  • get connected personally; i.e., meet possible reviewers, panel members, program managers
  • talk to former ARC panel members (in Australia), current and former program managers (in the US)
  • if your university runs workshops where "veterans" give advice, go!
  • accept the element of randomness in the process...

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