Response to critique: Apple. Polish.
June 7, 2007
Not only is it grant revision time, but it is also grant review time. Lots of study sections meeting to review the piles of applications submitted for last Feb/Mar deadlines. One pet peeve that you may wish to consider as you are crafting your Introduction to your revised grant.
There is a tendency to, well, apple polish to put in nicely. You know, to kiss ass. “We are greatful for the insightful comments of the reviewers” “The prior critique helpfully identified flaws for which we are eternally thankful…’. Etc.
What exactly do people think they are accomplishing with this stuff? First, it suggests that you think the reviewer is in this for empty compliments and/or can be swayed by empty compliments. This is insulting. Second, it suggests that the PI is trying to buy the reviewer off with flattery because s/he has no intention of actually, say, responding to the substance of the critique. This is not helpful to the cause.
Here’s another hint. Don’t waste time re-iterating all the positive comments. The panel gets the summary statement to read and they read it. They know that nice things were written, they may have written those words themselves. You are just wasting space that could better be used to respond to the criticisms.