Time: One to six weeks prior to February, June or October, two rounds after Act I.
Setting: Assorted messy professorial offices, planes, hotels
- Dramatis Personæ:
- Assistant Professor Yun Gun (ad hoc)
- Associate Professor Rap I.D. Squirrel (standing member)
- Professor H. Ed Badger (standing member, second term)
- Dr. Cat Herder (Scientific Review Officer)
- Badger's Highly Accomplished Administrative Assistant, Eunice
Six weeks before the study section meeting:
Yun Gun: [Logs into Commons, downloads each assigned grant, starts reading each one cover-to-cover]
Rap I.D. Squirrel: [Glances at email from SRO Cat Herder announcing the opening of the Submit Phase on Commons, deletes, goes back to work]
H. Ed. Badger: [Flying back from three weeks "collaborating" with his buddy in Bordeaux]
Two weeks before the study section meeting:
YG: [Exhausted] OMG! I can't believe these people can do this every round! I've been reading proposals and writing my four page critiques for weeks in every spare moment!
RS: hmm, wonder what I did with that study section CD....[hunts around on desk] aha! Password? wtf? for each damn proposal and summary statement? This blows...better log into Commons where I can at least save them after three clicks each...can the CSR do anything more to dissuade us from actually reading these things? [starts reviewing] I swear... one of these days I'm going to just use a template like I suspect ol' Badgie does....
HB: [shuttling to three invited talks spread out around the world]
One week before the study section meeting, two days prior to Commons posting deadline:
YG: oh, I'm nervous to see what the other reviewers thought on my assigned grants...when did Cat Herder say the Read Phase opened?
RS: dangit! I forgot to finish up those three grant reviews I had left...wonder if I can get to them by the deadline...oh well, we only get 60% by the deadline anyway, I can finish up on the weekend.
HB: hmm, don't I have some grants to review around here somewhere? [pokes through desk for 20 min, finally calls TurboAdmin Eunice who deftly extracts the ten R01 pdfs she's printed out for HB to read]
Eunice: "And don't forget you have a seminar speaker showing up in three hours...."
HB: okay, better get rocking. File:Open ....where is it, where is it....ahh 'RmechStockCritiqueTemplate.dot'. SaveAs, SaveAs, SaveAs........alright, sortin' time
[glances through PI and title for all ten applications, scans five Abstracts, checks two Biosketches]
[cut, insert, cut, brief interlude of mad typing, paste, cut, recheck application, mad typing, cut, cut] ...lemme see here....[reads critique, re-skims part of proposal]....ok, good enough for gover'mint work!
[Repeat X 9] Done!
Eunice, knocking: "Professor Badger, the seminar speaker Professor GrossKopf is here to see you..."
HB: "Hey Grossie! Let's hit the coffeeshop.....Eunice, would you please upload those critiques to Commons by 9pm Eastern? Thanks!"
RS: [already in Bethesda, meeting with some intramural collaborators] whoops, still have two left to review, don't I?
HB: "Eunice? Can you print out the critiques for my assigned grants? I'll take those on the plane to DC..."
YG: I'm on three with Professor Badger this time, let's see what he has to say.....hmm, kinda familiar...wtf!!??? Does he just lightly edit the same damn critique every time!???!!!