I hate when I review grant proposals that are good, but clearly have been made pedestrian and conservative through the school of hard knocks. There is so much awesome that could be done by these people. It is so clear to me what the really high impact version of this grant should look like. (Not having any illusions about my own unique brilliance, I assume they could see it too. )
But the review realities batter PIs down into a defensive crouch, worried that if they step too far past their Preliminary Data or established expertise they will get crushed.
Because, of course, they would get crushed.
Sometimes I wish I were the Boss of Science more than other times.