I have been mulling over some recent reviews of an NSF proposal that wasn't funded. There are a lot of positive critical comments in the reviews to help with revising the proposal, and we got enough Excellents and Very Goods to definitely warrant resubmission. So, although I'm disappointed, I feel optimistic, and I have enough funding to keep me going for a while, so the rejection doesn't have dire consequences. As usual, though, I brood over the criticisms that I consider off-base/unfair, though fortunately I only brood over these for a few days.
Since the few days of brooding are not yet up: The comment that is most annoying in these reviews is one that says that I shouldn't get this new grant because I already have enough funding and am "overcommitted". I have a long record of showing that I can handle several simultaneous projects, get results, and publish them, so this criticism is baseless. Moreover, I have been on enough panels to know that there are men in my field who have more grants than I do, that this criticism is not applied to them, and that they just keep getting more grants.
I suppose I shouldn't look at absolutely everything through the Gender Lens. My husband has gotten reviews that have said he already has enough funding, but those comments have been phrased in terms of "and there's not enough money to go around", whereas in this case, the criticism is of me and my ability to manage my time and my research group.
In an effort to be not quite so relentlessly negative, I will say that most of the reviews said very nice things about my research group, and I will try to keep those comments in mind. I feel very fortunate to have the funding that I do, and to be able to support my excellent grad students and other researchers. Next time..
6 months ago