Grantsmanship Is A Stochastic Process
March 13, 2011
The unpredictability of grant review is exactly why you need to have multiple grant applications in the system all the time, targeting different study sections for review. Seeing young investigators moaning and groaning on the Internet about the fate of “my R01 application” is heartbreaking, because it is so foolish. And anyone who complains that they “can’t write multiple R01s” because they lack the resources, ideas, preliminary data, whatever are simply not thinking creatively. The same exact preliminary data can form the basis for an infinite number of different grant applications.
If your career hinges on the review of a single grant application, you are doing it wrong. Even the most successful grant writers submit multiple competing applications (including resubmissions) for every one that gets funded. Over the years, I have averaged two competing NIH submissions (including resubmissions) per year, with only about 1/3 ultimately getting funded.
Grantsmanship is a stochastic process. Deny this fact at your peril.