Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grant-writing or ....

Actually I can't think of anything worse at the moment. I have (I hope to god) just finished preparing an NEH proposal. I'm the Primary Investigator (PI) but I've been working with four other faculty here on a variety of projects, including this one, a proposal for a year-long workshop series on bringing the digital humanities into the mainstream. I'll post the 1-page summary shortly, but this the one that had me nagging everyone for commitment letters with almost no notice.

The actual writing wasn't so bad, nor putting together the reading lists, or arranging the schedule. In fact that part was quite interesting in a curatorial kind of way. But, trying to extract info and paperwork from people before a deadline, especially when money is involved; well, that is really uncomfortable. It's bad with the outside speakers because they are nice for agreeing, and then I email and say, "well, that's not quite right, do it over this way please" ...and then few days later "I really need xyz" ...and then "we have to have this by noon today or..."

Worse however is having to nag my colleagues here, because they are working hard, all busy with other things (like our insane teaching load) and I nag them even more. Not just for letters and CVs, but also for feedback on drafts, meetings, etc. This is not to say they won't benefit from our getting the grant, or that they've ever complained at all. I just find this aspect of leadership so ...icky.

By contrast, applying for an individual grant for myself (which I am also doing right now) feels like a cakewalk! --I guess that could be considered a benefit of slogging through the more complicated group proposal process...

I'm imposing a moratorium on being a PI for the next month at least. I have to focus on my classes, a conference paper, my individual grant applications, and the proposal for a new joint MA (the upper admin. here may be getting skeptical about how committed our partners are. :-| ) Sigh. I need a clone, 30 hour days, teleport technology, and a pile of money. Is that so hard?

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