I alluded to my frustrations in an earlier post. I’ll share one of them with you now.
Like many universities, mine has a research grant program for faculty. We can apply for a few thousand dollars in an application process that is judged by a committee of other faculty from across the disciplines. I’ve applied three times for this grant unsuccessfully. That would be frustrating enough, but here’s how the three applications went down:
- First application: I was told that it was very good, particularly the explanation of the relationship of my work to work being done in the field, but that the explanation of my methodology was deemed “too subjective.”
- Second application: I was told that it was very good, particularly my revised methodology explanation, but that the weak part was the explanation of the relationship of my work to work being done in the field. However, this explanation was unchanged from the previous attempt, when I was told that it was a strength of the application.
- Third application: I was given no reason why my application was rejected, but I was told that there had been a “problem” in the review process.
None of this feedback is given in writing. I don’t know why. Furthermore, I am only allowed three applications for a particular project, so now I can either craft an application for a different project (even though my research for this one is not done), or I can make any future applications look like they are for a different project.
I am not a perfect scholar, and I’m not burning up the publishing track, but whenever I go to national and international conferences, scholars from other institutions express enthusiasm and admiration for my research. At my own institution, however, it sometimes feels as if I’m invisible.