Friday, July 5, 2013

What is an acceptable page-for-money ratio?

Currently, I am working on a grant for European money to work in the homecountry. This grant asks for a ridiculous number of pages where you have to tell them all about the proposal (in a variety of different ways) (7 pages), your own competence (5 pages), something called implementation (4 pages) and impact (5 pages). All this work is required for 4 years of about half a senior post-doc salary. Half! So not even an entire salary, or extra money for consumables, travel or another person. Still, I’m doing it because any extra money is good and there is only a limited option in terms of which grants to apply for. However, I do think it’s a pretty ridiculous amount of money when you look at what you get, especially compared to another foundation grant I applied for that is a similar amount of money but only asked for a 2-page proposal and your biosketch.

So my question for this afternoon: what ratio of pages/money is acceptable and when would you decide not even to bother? (I understand that the percentage that is funded is also a factor in deciding whether to apply but that’s for another time).


  1. This analysis only makes sense when deciding whether to work on X or Y application for funding. If you've decided you need funding, have identified a possible source and have no other more pressing things to do then the grant-cash/page is irrelevant.

    If it makes you feel any better, you should consider whether any of the stuff you are writing for this application will be able to be used for another application. Probably it can be reused so that adds to the potential-money side of the equation.

    1. You're right, and the stuff I write can be re-used (although some of it is very specific) and was re-used from another grant. I'm just surprised at the difference in how many things are required for what you get money-wise.

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