‘Twas the Night Before a Grant Deadline
’Twas the night before a deadline, when throughout the office in my house,
Everything was silent other than the clicking of my mouse.
Lights were down and papers strewn across the desk,
As I hoped my PI didn’t revise and add to the mess.
The dog was nestled by my feet as I read
and visions of OMB Circulars danced in my head;
And my cat on my papers and I in my alma mater sweats
had just settled into my chair longing for a long winter’s rest,
When a Zoom call arose with that familiar dinging sound,
I sprang from my chair to see what’s happened now.
Away to the video square I flew to answer,
combing my hair with my fingers soon after.
The screen was so bright against my pale face,
it gave me a disdained look despite my helpful haste.
When what to my wondering eyes did show,
But a subrecipient and eight of her personnel in a row;
With another PI and her team so upset,
I knew in a moment my evening was wrecked.
More frantic and enlivened everyone’s voices became,
as they clamored about their budget in vain;
“My research, my tenure, my conference, and lab
We must get this submitted, lest I’ll be quite drab!
To Sponsored Programs my request must go!
Now we mustn’t be slow or we’ll have nothing to show!"
As I pondered and pondered how we might make this happen,
It quickly dawned on me, I’ll just have to strap in.
With no point whatsoever in dragging my feet
I found the folder and opened up the spreadsheet;
And then it was happening, the numbers were flying,
The budget was ready, which was quite gratifying.
As I threw up my hands in pure celebration,
Down went my mood as I’d missed the request for applications.
The indirect was limited, the salary was capped,
and it was at this point I almost just snapped;
A late proposal again flung in my lap,
And here all I wanted was to lie down and nap.
The PI, how they persuaded, their research, how unique!
The PI had won; I relented, just have all documents final by midweek!
The SOW, the DMP, the COI must not be late,
And the narrative must be nothing short of great.
The sponsored programs office is not going to be happy,
And they’re unlikely to have sympathy for our request, no matter how sappy.
We’ll beg for forgiveness and hope for the best
To ensure the PI is happy and unstressed.
We’ll toil away in the waning daylight,
And comb over everything to ensure the submission’s airtight;
A check of the spacing, the font type and size,
Soon we’ll need coffee to keep from closing our eyes.
My PI emailed not a word, but went straight to work,
And I filled the rest of the sections, not one to shirk.
The PI sent me the sections he completed;
I added them in without trying to read it.
He anxiously texted, saying “Hit the button!”
And away the grant application went all of a sudden.
But then word came from Sponsored Programs later that week,
“The proposal was successfully submitted!” Now I can finally sleep!
Jason Claes, Clinical Research Manager
TriHealth Cancer Institute
Tyler Tulloch, Grant Services Manager
Michigan State University