A post in which I offer up praise to DrugMonkey and CPP

May 30 2012 Published by under Blogging, Grantsmanship, Lab, NIH

My boss and I were discussing his latest grant proposal and which mechanism would be more suitable.  We start discussing more exploratory mechanisms and he begins to explain the difference from the typical research grants (R01s) that we apply for.  I explain that I know what the R21 mechanism is and how it differs from the R01.  The boss looks befuddled and asks how do I know this.

I'm at a crossroads here dear reader, I can tell the man that I have religiously read Gospel of DM & CPP for the past couple of years or come up with something on the fly.  My answer, "Oh, they told us about it in a grant writing seminar."

I kneel before thee sir dudes for I am not worthy.

34 responses so far

  • DrugMonkey says:

    That's nice and all but as usual the real problem is that it is astonishing to a PI that you would, could or should know about all of this NIH stuff....

    • They really teach us zilch about how we get the bag of cash and what NIH mechanisms exist or even how the review process works.

    • Scicurious says:

      Yeah, I've never been told in my professional environment that ANY mechanism exists besides the NRSA, K, and R01. Even in the grant writing seminars that's all you get, grad students only get NRSA, and postdocs get K with a mention of R01. Everything else I learned from the internet.

      New bumper sticker! "Everything I need to know I learned from DM and PP". Only allowed to put the sticker on your Bentley after tenure.

  • ecologist says:

    WTfingF? Crossroads? There's a crossroads? In what kind of orthogonal-to-the-real-world dimension is this a problem, anyway? Why not an answer like this:

    Bossman: how did you know about R21s?

    GR: Oh, there's a lot of useful discussion of NIH and other kinds of grants in various science blogs that I read. One character that blogs under the name DrugMonkey has lots of information (and a healthy dose of opinion). Would you like me to send you a link?

    Seems like a much preferred solution to me. Now must go get coffee. Carry on.

    • brooksphd says:

      Im also fairly open about earning shitte from the wise ones in the bloggosphere. But given the narrow view many folks still have, i tend to pick my audience. If i dont refer to the blogs i might still refer to the Blogger, "oh a friend of mine is an Assoc Prof at an HHMI in the NE. He told me all about it."

      That tack definitly leds to raised eyebrows 🙂

  • FWIW, the powers that be can't ever learn to love the blog if they don't know why they should love the blog in the first place.

  • When I entered the NIH game, one of the very first things I did was read every single fucken word I could find about grants on the NIH Web site and its various relevant components: OER, CSR, OD, and the various IC Web sites. There is a *huge* amount of information there. I mean, did you know that you can read the motherfucken minutes of every motherfucken Council meeting for every motherfucken IC?

    The fact that so few people do this is pathetic, especially given that we are all supposed to be scientists: those who systematically direct their curiosity to discover everything they can about an object of inquiry. And one would think that the success of one's own career--especially in an environent that everyone understands is more brutally competitive than it has ever been before--would be a particularly interesting object of inquiry.

    I've never understood this.

  • katiesci says:

    I don't understand why you didn't tell him it was from blogs. If grant writing seminar isn't teaching you this he should know so it can be made better. My PI is impressed that I know things like this and I always tell him I learned it from blogs or twitter. He gives me crap about it but when I sent him a link to Proflike's NSF pre proposal recap he was pleasantly surprised.

  • Odyssey says:

    I suspect GR didn't tell the Bossman about the blogs in order to protect himself. Remember, he's in the same collective as DM and often comments on DM's posts.

  • DJMH says:

    In similar situations, back when my blog was active and therefore vaguely a danger, I would just say that I read stuff on a lot of science blogs, without naming names. But yeah, I have had a number of PIs be open-mouth-shocked at my familiarity with NIH terms and minutiae. They never teach it to us directly, it's pretty wretched.

    That's why I sent DM my first Bentley. Wonder what he's been doing with it?

  • Pascale says:

    In my experience (through NIDDK), the R21 is a mythical creature like the unicorn or mermaid. It would be cool if it existed, and you can find people who believe in its existence (even experts), but actually try to find one for yourself and you will be out of luck.

  • Bashir says:

    I wouldn't have told him about blogs. I get weird reactions when I mention the science internets to (some) senior people.

  • Psycgirl says:

    I both love and hate when I have to hide that I learned some valuable piece of academic information from a blog...

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