When I began this blog, I planned it in part as a record of the process of assembling an ARC grant application from the first hesitant germ of an idea to the highly polished 30+ page artefact that would sing sweetly to the readers and the panel alike. I did get some way into thinking about that new project, but then becoming ill meant deferring that project, and that grant, for a year, at least. I am currently, however, in the process of revising my collaborative application from last year's "near miss". With a great team and the efforts of Anne, our wonderful research assistant, the process hasn't been too bad, but I am nevertheless sitting at a computer on a hot Melbourne night reading and re-reading, tuning and fine tuning the draft, the budget, the justification for the budget, our track records, our justifications of our track records, our title, our summaries, our keywords, our codes.... We've changed the project slightly, and sharpened its conceptual frame considerably. Instead of looking at medievalist Australian literature alone, we're going to study Australian medievalism across four cultural fields. But every time we changed one thing, we had to change six more parts of the application that correspond to it. The ten-page "essay" got a whole lot longer, and then had to get shorter again to fit into the ten pages.
I have another couple of hard hours work to go on my end of it, and we are currently waiting for some colleagues to get back to us with feedback. Of course we want them to say it's wonderful, and that we don't need to make any changes. Paul is working on his own application tonight, and we will sit down and read each other's at some point tomorrow.
So instead of doing my round of revisions now, I'm sending a message of commiseration and fellow feeling to everyone else in Australia who's going through this annual torment. May GAMS remain easy of access; may your budget fall into place; may your ten pages stay ten pages; and may your keywords and codes bring you joy.
And a lovely p.s. to the snowglobe theme. Tom has arrived from Iowa this morning, bringing Joel a snowdome from Chicago (urban landscape; wooden base; plays music; glitter, not snow [which is increasingly rare in your modern dome] but lovely all the same). At LAX he was almost not allowed to bring it on the plane. As the security team pointed out to him, there's more than 3 fluid ounces of liquid in there...