Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For Instructions on Muenster Cheese Consumption, See Chapter IV.b.4

Today was a Very Good Day. A big part of my work responsibilities is to write grants, and I passed 2 major milestones in grantwriting today.

First, this afternoon, I submitted my first proposal to the National Science Foundation. NSF = big money, lots of paperwork. For example, this was actually not a proposal, it was just a preliminary proposal. It will be reviewed and we will receive a recommendation about whether to pursue a full proposal in November. It took several hours to figure out how to access the online application. Once everything was set to go, pushing the "submit" button was a 8-step 3-person procedure that went something like:

"When application (PI) is ready to submit proposal, each Authorized Organizational Represented (AOR) from the PI's lead organization must log on to the FastLane system, ensuring that said log ons are concurrent and in conjunction with the Standards of FastLane Coordinated Log On as outlined in the Grant Proposal Guidelines (GPG) Chapter V, Section 3.e.4.i.78.b. Once all log ons are complete, each AOR must enter his or her Secret Password, which can be obtained from the Office of Secure Services for Advancing the Equality of Proposal Submission (OSSAEPS). Please note that obtained the Secret Password can take between 3 business days and 7 years. Entered passwords will be verified by sub-contracted chimpanzees working in the lower level of OSSAEPS offices. Per Secret Password verification, AORs may then navigate through a small maze, the center of which contains a block of Muenster Cheese (MC). Upon obtaining the MC, AORs will be re-directed to the submission page. AORs may then all push "Submit Application" following which they will be asked to verify 3 times that they do, in fact, want the application to be submitted.

For questions, PIs and AORs are recommended to view our Frequently Asked Questions page, which contains insightful bits of wisdom, such as "Q: How do I submit a proposal to NSF? A: Visit this link for our step-by-step instructions written by the chimpanzees."

So you can see how actually submitting this preliminary proposal was quite an accomplishment.

Second (remember, there was a second thing), I found out today that one of my previously-submitted grants was accepted! The grant is from PBS for music education programs about content in a new PBS documentary called "The Music Instinct", which premieres tonight and which will mention us as a grant recipient.

It's not a huge grant, but it does equate to about 1/3 of my annual salary. And it makes me feel more validated in the work I've been doing.


Mamacita said...

Congratulations, Erin! Now we know why government grants are so hard to get. And that the "Red Tape Reduction Acts" just reduced the tape to an electronic form.

Jen said...

I love it. Now I understand why grad students here are offered a semester-long class on grant writing. Wonder if the NSF got a grant for the chimpanzees.

Dawn said...

YEA ERIN! Good job! I'm so happy you have actually received grant funds! And that you have mastered the giant maze that is NSF! Good luck with the "pre" proposal! Sounds like government work!