Learning about already awarded grant money?
April 20, 2009 6:53 AM Subscribe
How can I learn more about the grant money my lab already has?
posted by anonymous to science & nature (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a first year PhD student (but older, organized, with loads of transfer credit from my M.S.) in a medium-large science lab (psych and neuroscience), and I'm trying to get a better sense of how money works in the lab so I can effectively use what's been earmarked for me as well as argue well for how pooled money is spent. (Things usually end up happening here in crazy scrambles at the last minute. I feel like having a cool head and a long view will give me massive leverage to do good things.)
I'm on a T90 and the lab has maybe three or four R01s.
I found all these grants on CRISP, but I want more information.
Where can I find the breakdown of what money has been earmarked for various purposes? (e.g., there's been money set aside for me for travel and supplies, separately. How much? When do I have to spend it by?)
There is also pooled money for all the graduate students on the T90. A few are in other labs. How can I figure out who those people are? I'd like to A) use my share, B) tell at least the three people I know who are on the grant that they have supply money which I'm sure they don't know about C) politely use more than my fair share of the pool if time is running out and I definitely know (by asking) that other people aren't going to be proactive enough to spend the money.
I'd also like to know how much of various earmarked sums have already been spent.
Presumably my lab keeps this information on file, on site. What do I ask for? Does the NIH keep up-to-date, in-the-trenches records, or do they get updated maybe once a year (and/or it's not available to me for access)? Does the university or department "business office" keep track of all this stuff?
I realize that a lot of these questions can be answered by people in the lab, but generally the PI and more advanced graduate students tend to be rushed, terse, and cryptic. Also, because they're so scattered, I need to use my face-time with them for science questions. There are a few administrative people connected with the lab who are knowledgeable, but they're 9-5 and, again, I need to spend my time during the work day doing science, not sitting down with them for 15-30 minutes a few times so they can walk me through X, Y, and Z. (I'm sort of dense about this stuff, so I'd ideally want information I can look over, contemplate, and daydream possibilities about on my own time. I may just need to spend some time with the administrators and I know I should hang out as much as possible with the post-docs and advanced graduate students, regardless.
I'm picking up things by osmosis--that's why I know enough to ask this question. But it's too slow. And, this is taxpayer money. I feel like the more I know, the more I can ethically, effectively, and responsibly use this resource.
In summary, where can I learn about the details of "earmarks" on grants and what's already been spent? In the rare instances that I have my advisor's attention and during group lab meetings, I'd like to have some numbers to quote. I know it'll be a process, but I want to jumpstart it.
Most basic question: Is there anything out there like CRISP that gives much more detail than just one paragraph? Or, where are grants broken down in detail so people can decide what to apply for?