Really, my friends, you are going to drive yourselves completely insane if you don’t step back and wait.

The examples can be found over on writedit’s mondo thread on paylines, scores and whatnot for NIH grants. Start here and page up.

I find it alternately saddening, maddening and hilarious to read these comments. In the end, I do sympathize. After all, I’m in the same boat as all of the rest of you seekers of NIH largesse.

It boils down to this. Nobody knows with any precision if your grant will get funded, unless it is well within any conceivable payline. Right now, I’d say you can have confidence with 3%ile. The POs don’t know how the funds will be spent around the margins. If it is for the Dec 1 funding date, well, we’ve talked before about how this depends on what Congress does and the relative conservativeness of a given IC in the face of a continuing resolution budget.

So believe your POs. When they give you a space of probability to work with, they are not lying to you or hiding some sekrit information just to mess with little old you. You are NOT this important. More critically, some random Internet yahoo like YHN or writedit cannot improve on your PO’s information. We deal in generalities and those ICs of our closest experience. With random Internet anecdata. These sources of information are far less specific than your PO.

So do yourself a favor and stop trying to game out your chances. Just get back to writing your next application. It will serve you better in the long run.