We Like, We Like to Party

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Sea Lamprey Research Board Meeting: Full Proposals, Round 1

Look familiar? Yes! More SLRB. This meeting though, is a bit different from the winter SLRB meeting. For instance, there are zero presentations during the fall meeting. Instead, SLRB uses this meeting to discuss the peer reviews of full proposals and make decisions about which research projects should be more likely to receive funding.

I should mention that, as a participant in these meetings, I receive a Briefing Book ahead of time that includes copies of the full proposals up for discussion. Reading the full proposals before the meeting begins helped me prepare for the peer review discussion. In that discussion, I learned a lot about how to effectively write a “good” scientific proposal. The comments made by SLRB are incredibly insightful and, while not always positive, are at least constructive. This week, I learned that a clear hypothesis and objective(s), strong rationale for the research needs, a realistic and well-outlined budget, and proper grammar and spelling (cringe) are exceptional characteristics of a “good” scientific proposal.

After the discussion of the peer reviews of full proposals, the SLRB core group met privately to develop their final recommendations for full proposals.

Board of Technical Experts Meeting: Full Proposals, Round 1

And, more BOTE! Again, BOTE is similar to SLRB, but this time, the core group and members-at-large discuss the peer reviews of full proposals and make decisions about which research projects should be more likely to receive funding. After the discussion of peer reviews of full proposals, the BOTE core group meets privately to develop their final recommendations for full proposals.

Some additional observations:

I am beginning to really get to know people and to distinguish some great personalities in the SLRB and BOTE groups. I feel very included in each group, and I appreciate that people are interested in who I am and what I do. I am confident that my network is growing.

Also, these people really know how to shut down a hotel bar! Just kidding. But really, these groups are fun. We spent a lot our evenings this past week sharing memories, discussing cool research stories, and playing a lot of Euchre. I fear that Julie Hinderer (Sea Lamprey Research Program Associate) and I have started a fierce Euchre tradition at the BOTE meeting, in particular. We played on a team against Dr. Mike Jones (MSU) – who plays Canadian rules, go figure – and Dr. Stu Ludsin (THE OSU) – enemy (just kidding) – and battled for glory. Girls won this time, and I think we are all ready for a rematch next winter.

LESSON #8: Socialize with the people you are working with, for this is how to make long-lasting connections.

LESSON #9: Make good use of hotel bars because A LOT can get accomplished there.

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