A proposal deadline is looming, and I'm submitting two proposals. One is for equipment, and that proposal is straightforward to write, albeit a bit dull. The other one involves a project that merges science research with science education in a way that goes beyond tacking on some 'broader impacts' to a proposal that is 99.9999% science research.
The challenge is to write it so that it doesn't sound like either part is weakened by the other. The co-PI is a science education professor, and we have a record of collaborations that have resulted in science education publications, including teaching modules that are used in science classes. In theory, there should be no doubt that we can do the integrated research that we propose.
I think the proposal looks pretty good, but I am somewhat skeptical that it will fly, in part because it is hard enough to get any proposal funded. Furthermore, a previous proposal with some engineering colleagues was shot down by education experts because we came across as obnoxious. We got review comments like "Who do they think they are.." (writing about educational activities when they are just professors who don't know anything about education) and "Just because they build it, doesn't mean anyone will come." (how special: a sports analogy and an insult all in one).
I have those negative comments circling my head in cartoon thought balloons as I write this new proposal, but I think both aspects of the proposed work are very interesting, important, and feasible, so I see no reason not to try to get at least a pilot study going.
3 days ago