Writing evaluations of NIH proposals was where I bonked. I found doing this, and addressing all the critique points (over 50, as you’ll recall from a previous post), difficult and crushing in the way that answering over 50 essay questions about the impact of the French Revolution on post-WWII literature would be. (Open book, so cite your sources; no time limit, but the test is due in 11 days. You may pick up your pencils…now.)
I knew all the words, and understood the premises of the questions. And I knew the goal was to winnow down the applications to a manageable pile for our two-day meeting a few weeks after the critiques were due. But seeing the goal and understanding that it’s a matter of putting one foot in front of the other — or rather, one word after the other — to reach it didn’t make the process any easier.
It took forever, or at least felt like it, and my hourly pay dropped to the level of self-publishing graphic novels about science.
Next: Science jury duty