Flattery will get you nowhere: I want cash

I’ve just been asked to report on an application for a substantial grant from a rather wealthy grant-awarding body. “We will greatly value your expert opinion” etc. etc. Huh. I’m sure you will. Value it so much you aren’t offering a penny for what would be most of a day’s work to do properly.

I gave my usual six word response: “No proper fee, no proper report”.

Of course, if the proposal had been bang on topics that I currently am tolerably up to speed on and from someone whose work I already know well and admire, I’d no doubt have done the job (it would have been a very much quicker task, and might help keep up activity in areas I really care about). But then, if that’s other people’s policy too for selecting when they are prepared to write reports, grant awarding bodies are getting a pretty skewed set of  views on proposals. I’d have thought they would have wanted reports written with a bit of distance. They should be prepared to pay decent fees to get them.

3 thoughts on “Flattery will get you nowhere: I want cash”

  1. Ευαίσθητη ή Λογική

    The title of an album released today by a pop icon in Ellada, Peggy Zina.

    Logic is sensitive, or , taking a cue from your blog title,

    Logic senses…

  2. I am constantly amazed at how little our time is valued by journals/funding bodies/appointment committees. Last year I spent the equivalent of three working days reviewing a postdoctoral application for the handsome sum of £50. About £2 an hour then. I could hardly have done it any more quickly: it involved reading 40,000 words plus three or four other articles central to the candidate’s work. Never again. Just not worth my time.

  3. I agree, those people asking for your ideas should be prepared to pay for it, if they value it so much.

    I heard one quip once that went like this…”your comments are good, but I need cash”.


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