Thursday, April 2, 2015

Rejection Last Year, Success This Year

In this academic business, one is always, always getting rejected.  Last year, at this time, I learned that my grant application was rejected.  Yesterday, the second try succeeded.  Woot!

How do I celebrate?  By happy coincidence I was scheduled to interview a member of the Canadian parliament about the role of the defence committee in civil-military relations.  Hence this picture. 

The project, with Phil Lagass√© and Dave Auerswald, aims to consider a key set of questions raised by the Dave and Steve book but not answered: if war is too important to be left to the generals, then overseeing the military is too important to be left to the executive branch.  How do the world's democracies vary in the roles played by their legislatures?  Why?  To what effect?

Lucky I have been.  Not only were we one of the few grants funded (the acceptance rate for this grant is not quite NSF levels but getting there), but I have two great teammates who are going, alas, get some of the better trips that this research will fund.  I am lucky too in that I have received a couple of invites for this spring, to Belgium and the Netherlands, to do some stuff, which will provide me the opportunity to do some of the research for this project.

The next five years are going to be chock full of funded research to ask parliamentarians, military officers, journalists, observers and experts many questions.  Today's conversation turned the focus away from one of our core interests--information--and towards a key dynamic of agenda-setting.

Some of my friends also received positive grant news yesterday, and several received negative news.  That is the nature of this business.  I know that the success of ours now is built on the rejection last year and on the many other rejections we received on drafts of our other work.  I hope my friends will have better luck next year, and I will definitely give them any assistance that they ask of me.  Time to pay it forward.

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