Field of Science


Today I spoke with a colleague with extensive experience of the granting agency I'm applying to (CIHR, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research). I was wondering whether I should split my grant proposal into two smaller and more tightly focused proposals, to be sent to two different peer-review committees.

Right now my proposal addresses two distinct aspects of H. influenzae competence. One is the regulation of competence, specifically the signals that induce the master regulator Sxy and the process by which Sxy induces the competence regulon genes. The other is the mechanism of DNA uptake, especially the role of the uptake signal sequence.

I could easily split this into two smaller proposals, each asking for less money, and each targeted to a particular peer-review committee. Because each proposal would be more focused, there would be more room in the allowed 11 pages to explain the issues specifically important for it. This would make each proposal easier for the peer-reviewers to read and understand. If only one of them got funded, we'd have plenty of money to go on with and I'd resubmit the other one for the next competition six months later.

I'm going to wait till I've gotten the opinions of a couple of other colleagues before making a final decision.

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