The time it takes…

The start of the fall semester is very busy time for a university professor / researcher in Canada. First, classes start after the summer break. Second, there is a converging interest, a nexus of research grants and scholarship application (i.e. writing project descriptions and letter of recommendations for the students!) deadlines in the September-October period. Third, fall is also the time of the year for some major conferences in my field of research. All of this explains the lighter posting on this blog 😉

Research grant applications have a very peculiar habit to take of lot of your time. However, the most time consuming portion is not always what you would imagine. Every year, after the October deadlines are passed, I keep reminding myself of that. Sure, the research proposal itself tends to be a long process, starting with some key elements, an outline, maybe a mind map. However, by the time you start the writing of the proposal itself, it usually “flows”.

No, sometimes the most time consuming parts is actually filling out everything else: the online CV forms (this year was really bad with the new and old Canadian Common CV coexisting, at least for us in Quebec), the extra information about prior grants, etc. One of my senior colleague, who started out before computerized forms and internet existed, used to tell me that not so long ago, they would hand-write the science proposals and go back to the lab and to teaching; It was someone else job to type everything in (as in using a typewriter), including the up to date CV…

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