Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I regret to inform you

So, it's official then:
Dear Articulate Dad:

I regret to inform you that your application to the 2007-2008 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships competition has not been approved for funding.

... In this cycle, we have been able to fund only 11 percent of the proposals we received.

Applicants frequently revise and resubmit their proposals, often with positive results. The next deadline for applications is May 1, 2007.

We appreciate your interest in the Endowment, and we thank you for the opportunity to learn about your scholarship.
Disappointed? Yes
Free to move on to other projects? Yes
Will I revise and resubmit? Don't know. Not sure this is the right audience, or the right project.

You may recall, early on in this application process, I discovered that the NEH constitutes single-subject committees, rather than interdisciplinary ones, which I suspected would be a mark against me. I was informed that [field 2] is almost never represented, and that I'd have a choice between traditionally-defined [field 1] or [field 99, somehow tangentially related in a convoluted way to field 2]. I opted for the [field 1] audience, and attempted to write a proposal that I hoped would appeal to that audience. In the end, it was a project I would have enjoyed, but not necessarily the one I would have chosen (namely my [longitudinal project]) had I been submitting to a multi-disciplinary committee.

I've made up my to-do list for the spring. Immediately, I have one conference abstract to prepare and submit: today's primary goal. Due in January, I have six possible job applications, which I'll work on today and later this week. Then, I have to work up my [field 2] conference talk for the end of February (and possibly a related one for the beginning of February, if that's accepted; should hear in the next couple of weeks). Assuming my conference submission for May is accepted, that's next, followed by the June conference talk I'm preparing the abstract for today.

Otherwise, I'm free. Free to set a course, test the wind and the sails, and head off. The heading is mine to choose.

*Updated to add:
Got the comments from my NEH panelists. Mostly helpful. I've not been trashed for being a fraud, merely coaxed to make better arguments. If I'm judged average or slightly better than average among a class of top-notch individuals, is that so much to feel bad about?

1 comment:

BrightStar said...

Sounds extremely competitive, yet a good learning experience if you get useful feedback. Congrats on pushing yourself this far, and keep it up!