Monday, January 12, 2009

A monster grant proposal done.


We completed and filed our NSF proposal today. Between this and last year's submission (funny post here), I've spent at least 300 hours on it, and Cara has probably spent nearly that many. Ten for me just yesterday. This is a big investment for LRRD.

The proposal is very much like last year's, but greatly strengthened. We have a lot of Emriver models out there now, and a survey of academic users returned amazing results--the models are very powerful teaching tools, they're fun, and people like and use them on many levels.

That's why I'm on this crazy mission to build them.

Now we hope and pray. This proposal is risky and stress-inducing, but it's a wonderful effort for a worthy cause. We had six principal investigators at SIUC, in fisheries, zoology (stream ecology), engineering, education, and geology. Another three collaborators at NGRREC, the UI-Champaign-Urbana, and UC Berkeley.

The photo shows SIUC's Lizette Chevalier (engineering) and Jim Garvey (fisheries science, and class clown) working with Cara.

The complexity and intellectual density of these things is staggering. A hell of a lot to cover and 15 pages to do it. The level we're shooting for requires an interdisciplinary team, and only part of the team will understand and be able to edit some sections (let alone write them). I'm sure there were single sentences in this thing I changed 15 times. Dozens and dozens of person-hours proofing and writing. Hundreds of emails. Probably 40 I answered/wrote in the last 24 hours.

Cara was super competent as usual, and other people were great to work with. I am especially grateful to local schoolteacher, friend, and world-glass English language expert Jamie Walczak-Wilson who managed to find a bunch of problems in what we thought was a clean manuscript, some pretty embarrassing.

The beer I am having now tastes very good.

2 comments:

jaja vega said...

I am keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, crossed for you!

k8 said...

I am keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, crossed for you!