So, a funny thing happened today, as a research grant application was being finalised – it’s due in tomorrow. An academic submitted excessive costings, too late to be discussed in the steering group for the bid (the final meeting of a series of about 6 was three days ago), and pushing the total cost over the limit. It would be impossible to submit the bid without reducing the funding for other collaborators.

When we suggested that we would get costings from elsewhere, this was met with great personal affront, and accusations of ‘you’re scheming behind my back, what about all the work I’ve put into writing this, etc etc.’ Magically, it resulted in the costings being reduced.

Moral 1: Watch out for any academics who are mainly interested in getting income for their department.

Moral 2: When trying to get a group to accept the unacceptable, put it forward as close to the deadline as possible (something to bear in mind when structuring stories).