I've been in this environment for over 10 years now, and one thing I've learned - every season is grant season. While the spring and fall have the majority of the fixed deadlines, RFAs, PAs and other special announcements from various funders introduce additional deadlines at random times of the year. There are also those grants that require peer review panel presentations, the ones with mulitple levels of application (the LOI, followed by the full application, followed by the "opportunity" to submit supplemental info), and the ones with extensive post-award pre-launch processes that make for much scrambling around on short notice - made all the more intense by the allure of the almost-funding. Once you have the grant, the deadlines just continue, with reporting requirements, meetings, advisory boards, interim reviews. And those are just on the science side. On the admin side, there is also the perpetual prospect of an audit that might suddenly appear on the horizon.
Ultimately, what it means is that every season is grant season. It also means some other things:
We all recognize that there are a few laws applicable to the world of grant writing:
What does all that mean? It means that there is always something to be done, that the best laid plans will often go awry, and that change is just as certain as the rain in Vancouver. A project manager's life is therefore not for those who thrive on completion, or for the faint of heart who can't endure the last minute deadline. But is for those who enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of enabling and contributing to the most fascinating research around.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.