I just received a very good score on an NIH grant application that puts it in a highly fundable range. According the institute's website, grants with the score that I received are very likely to be funded (it is a special junior investigator mechanism). My question is: (1) do I update search committees for places that have just begun reviewing applications? and (2) if I do update SC's, what should I say? The decision about the grant won't be made until May, but the score is very promising. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!
Date: 11 Jan 2013 18:57
Number of posts: 5
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I am sure that people's opinions on this question will differ, but if anything I think I'd email the search chair just to say that, "hey, if I'm still in consideration for this position, I wanted you to know that I got this great score on a grant". However, the problem is that you can't really put "good score" on your CV; it's not the same as actually getting the grant at the end of the day, so i don't think I'd send them an updated CV unless the search chair asks you to, but you might ask. I get your point that it seems likely you'll get it based on you score, and do tell the search chair that, but it's just not the same. But, it's good news, and maybe if they were on the fence about you it might tip the scale… This is like "hey, I got this great revise and resubmit on an article"… it's good news, but the deal just isn't sealed yet. i.e., watch out for counting chickens before they hatch, or something ;-)
If you have a good relationship with your advisor you could ask him or her to email the search chairs for you. Sometimes it is easier for someone other than you to say "just wanted to update you about the awesome score so-and-so just received"…. AND saying "with this score the grant is VERY likely to be funded" might mean a little more to the search chair coming from a fellow faculty member (who presumably has more experience seeing which grants get funded, etc.). I have seen several applicants do this in cases of really impressive awards and things too (since it can be hard to say "I just won this amazing award, I am SO awesome" in a tactful way, but it is easy for your advisor to brag about you!)
I'd recommend against having your advisor/mentor contact the SC. One thing you want to demonstrate to the SC is your independence as a researcher. Having your advisor pass on information is like having Mommy contact your university professor. Or at least it was perceived that way in the the search we just completed. Let the SC know of your good score. It isn't bragging it is passing on relevant information. I've seen scores listed on CVs. They serve as reasonable indicators of probable funding, or at the very least a ranking of your relative scholarly potential.