I think when a grant application has a section F15.5 there is a problem!
My latest application is running at 76 pages. Only about 8 pages is actually about science. The rest is administrative details, publication lists, statistics, budgets, justifications, and "bragging" about how great all the Investigators and their institutions are.
Every year more information is required and the applications get longer.
The problem may be that every year or so a new administrator decides it would be "helpful" to request an additional piece of information. But, adding just 7 per cent per year doubles the application length every decade....
Is this really necessary? Not only does it take a lot of time to prepare, but it also takes a lot of time to review. Actually, the painful reality is that most reviewers (including me, sorry) don't read much of the "fluff" but just focus in on a few key pieces of information: the science proposed, what the Investigators have recently achieved/published, and whether the budget is reasonable.
My question is: are there any funding agencies that are actually trying to reduce the length and complexity of applications?