Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tips for Writing a Systematics DDIG Part 3: What About Preliminary Data?

You’re not going to get a DDIG without some preliminary data. There are several layers of preliminary data to consider. The first layer - showing enough to convince the reviewers that you’re capable of gathering the data that you’ve proposed to gather - is essential. Don’t try telling reviewers you’re going to sequence 10 nuclear genes if you have no published molecular phylogenetic studies and have yet to sequence a single bp for your project. A second layer involves enough data and analyses for the reviewers to determine whether the work you’ve proposed is likely to be sufficient to answer the question at hand. This is the classic chicken and egg problem with grants - you can’t get a grant if you can’t get the data and you can’t get the data if you don’t have a grant. Remember that this is a dissertation improvement grant, not a dissertation grant: you should do what you can to convince your reviewers that you’re already well on your way toward successful completion of your thesis.

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