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April 10, 2008

Brief grants update

Three of us - myself, Pete and Ed - have now deliberated, cogitated and digested the 128 short proposals (2 sides of A4) that we received under this year's grants call.  This was no easy task I can tell you, not least because there were a lot of really interesting ideas put forward this year.  Having said that, there was a remarkable level of agreement between us in our final selection.

Using a simple marking system (yes, no, maybe) followed by extensive discussion of each bid that got at least one yes, we have narrowed down the field to 17, each of which will be asked to prepare a longer proposal (8 sides of A4).  These will be more thoroughly peer-reviewed, with 6 or so of the proposal teams being invited for interview at Eduserv in due course.

I have already apologised in advance to those that haven't got thru this phase, so I won't do so again here. But I hope  people understand that reducing a field of 128 down to 16 or 17 meant that we had to reject a lot of proposals that might otherwise have got thru to the second phase.  It is also worth remembering that we have, in part at least, to make our decisions about what we fund in order to maximise synergies with the other things we are already funding and with what we are doing in-house.  In short, we have to think about the overall programme as well as the individual projects.  This is true of any funding body of course, but being a small funder, funding only a few projects each year, this is a surprisingly difficult thing to get right.

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