Pregnant - should I go in on this bid?(10 Posts)
Hi all, I've just discovered this board so apologies if this question has been asked somewhere before.
I'm early career (one year post PhD) and have recently been developing a new collaboration. We (just the 2 of us) have been planning to put a bid together for a few months and now we are down to the last couple of weeks before the deadline for the small grant we have our eye on and are firming up the proposal. Only I've recently found out I'm expecting (and am delighted about it) so if we get it funded I will only be around for the first 4 months of the 10 month project before going on maternity leave. I've been proceeding as if nothing's changed, on the basis that:
a) This may not be an issue at all - chances are the project won't get funded
b) I am early on in my pregnancy (7 weeks) and therefore there is still a great deal of uncertainty about it and I don't wish to tell any colleagues, never mind a new collaborator I don't know very well
c) If, in the event that we got it funded and all goes well with the pregnancy, I would be around in the formative stages to input towards the detailed design, and it would be possible for the later data collection elements that I'd be carrying out to be done by a research assistant (so I would not be completely leaving the collaborator in the lurch).
d) Bringing in the funding would be great for my CV, obviously
Is this ethical though - to pretend I will be around to deliver this when I won't? I'm sure there is probably an established norm about this but it's not a situation I've come across in my career so far and although I have colleagues who are fantastic mentors this isn't something I want to discuss with them! I feel quite guilty about this but I'm not sure what else I can do.
How do you think your collaborator would take it if you told them the full situation?
Do you have a permanent job, or does your employment depend on getting this bid?
Hi MedSchool, to be honest I don't know him well enough to be able to tell. We haven't even told any family yet so I feel quite protective over the idea of telling a contact I've only met face-to-face a couple of times. Rather than explain the full situation I'd be more inclined to tell him that for personal reasons the current timescale won't work for me, giving him the choice to either go ahead on his own (despite me putting a lot of thought into the proposal, and covering an area outside his expertise) or delay it and pick it up again in a year.
Possible I have a permanent job so there is nothing at stake in that regard. This is a pretty small (seedcorn) fund we're applying to. A more senior colleague lobbied on my behalf for management to support me going for this funding. If I don't continue with the bid he will be most perplexed!
Go for it. As you say, funding may not be granted.
If you do get the funding, you will be able to put contingencies in place, or even freeze the award for a little while to restart later.
I never stopped for either of my ML - some funding fell through, other worked out and I made the timeline "fit" with a bit of creativity.
go for the funding. it is always worth going for and having projects that tick along while you are on ML.
I would go for it. The odds of getting funding are always low - you don't win anything for not trying. (I think your CI has to be in the loop and onboard for this.)
Also, it depends a little on who the funder is (you don't say), but I would definitely phone the portfolio manager and discuss. I've always found them very happy to talk, and there may be options you're not aware of.
Thanks for your replies everyone, really helpful to have these perspectives. I'm still reluctant to put the CI in the picture just yet ajc but I understand where you're coming from. Good idea to speak directly to the funder, I think I will give them a call to get an idea of what the options would be if the bid was successful.
Most funding bodies have maternity leave policies, does it say anything on your funding body's website? Or maybe give them a call and ask them about their policy in general.
Agree with everyone, go ahead now. No point in second guessing if you will get it, and most places want to see you making applications even if they are not all successful. As you say, should you get it, you will cross the bridge of how to manage that when the time comes.
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