Why should I write grant applications?

My administrators insist I should go for grants. They say it raises prestige and my research would benefit from it. I have not applied for a significant grant for quite some time for a reason: it is a horrible waste of time. I do not need grants. I do my research very well without the need for support money. All I need is a pencil, paper and a computer. I can even do without a printer. I do not need to pay for data, software and subscription, as all this is available for free (thanks to open source and open access). I do not need a research assistant as I do that much faster and better myself. And I do not need summer money as I am already well paid. In other words, I am doing just fine without grants, why should I put the time and effort into maybe getting a little money I do need, that comes with all sorts of strings attached?

My administrators do not care about the impact on my research, or my welfare for that matter. They want the overhead. They are begging for money to justify their existence. I already bring lots of money to the college by teaching many, many tuition paying and public funding attracting undergraduates. In fact, from a back of the envelope calculation, my pay should double just for that. I am already subsidizing the administrators, why would they need grant overhead? They need to feed a machinery that deals with those grants. The office of research, which manages the grants, is twenty people strong. And if I hire a research assistant among the graduate students, I have to pay his or her full tuition before anything can be assigned. I cannot hire outside the university. So why would I want to hire anyone?

In some way, the administration wants me to pay for my salary through grants, a salary I have already more than earned with teaching to overflowing classrooms. To be honest, if I were successful in obtaining grants, I would leave the university and keep everything for myself. I would then be able to concentrate on research instead of putting up with all the red tape. But most funding agencies do not accept submissions from independent researchers, so I continue doing my research without grants and try to ignore these administrators. Let them show their self-importance elsewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment