I had fantastic news today - I got awarded a lot of grant money.
Grant money is not something I've had to worry about before, and not always something that academics in business schools need to worry about. It's typically in the hard sciences where one sees people desperately applying for grants to fund their labs, their hordes of post-docs, students and research assistants and whatever else money can buy.
At a business school, research is mostly done at a minimal cost. Databases are often provided by the library, at some central expense budget. And the rest of the work is good old labor provided by the professors and students who get some centrally coordinate money to support their studies.
But at some schools, if you want to get anything done, you need to get your own money. Databases are pricey and if you're not one of the lucky elite institutions where they hand them to you on a silver platter, ten thousand dollars for a bit of data quickly begins to seem like a lot.
My university is not unreasonable as far as provision of data goes. And I do get a substantial amount of funds already as part of my new professorship, to support my research efforts and any expenses that go with it. However, seeking external grants is still something that the school considers worthy. So with some prodding from various senior professors and a keen newly minted research program support person, I put in a grant proposal. That was in October. Then I put it out of my mind, since results were not due till some six months later.
In other words, in April ... Not for a moment did I think I'd actually get it. I hoped, of course. But the process works on some kind of point system, and as a junior faculty member, it's difficult to gain enough points to make the first cut. However, I did have a rather cool idea (if I do say so myself). And I think that's what must have appealed to the reviewers.
I'm totally psyched, and buzzing from the experience. Not only is a large amount of money, it's also a three year project, and it's NOT my dissertation topic. I'm finally growing up ... academically speaking, that is.