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OPEN Network proposal – referees comments are in

1 February 2008 No Comment

So we have received the referees comments on the network proposal and after a bit of a delay I have received permission to make them public. You can find a pdf of the referee’s comments here. I have started to draft a reply which is published on google docs. I have given a number of people access but if you are feeling left out and would like to contribute just drop me a line.

These are broadly pretty critical comments and our chance of getting this funded is not looking at all good on the basis of these. For those who have not written grant proposals before or not dealt with these types of criticisms there is an object less on here. Many of the criticisms relate to assumptions the referees have made about how a UK Network Proposal should be written and what it should do. It is always a good idea to identify precisely what the expectations are. In this case I simply didn’t have time to do this.

However there are some good aspects of this. Many of the critical comments made by the referees are contradicted by other referees (too many meetings, not enough meetings). A couple arise from misunderstandings or perhaps a lack of clarity in the proposal. The key thing is to answer the criticisms on how we expand the network – while at the same time explaining that until we have achieved this the network doesn’t really exist in its ideal form. Also we are asking for relatively little money so once all the big networks get their slice their may be realtively few proposal left small enough to pick up the scraps as it were.

The reply is due back on Monday (UK time) and I will gratefully receive any assistance in getting this response honed to a fine point. I would also point you in the direction of Shirley Wu’s draft of the proposal for a PSB session which is due at the end of next week. We know this collaborative process can work and we also know it has weaknesses and disconnects. If we can use the good part to convince funding agencies that we need to sort out the weaknesses I think that would be a great step forward.

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