This month, there was a suggestion that grant funding should be achieved by a 5 minute video pitch. Here is their (closed-access) paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tibs.2014.01.004 But it’s nice to see that they walk the talk and have made a video summarising their paper.
Although, nobody uses the world multimedia any more (data from Google Ngram viewer)
Their key arguments were:
- Current static, written grant applications have limitations.
- It’s easier to convey complex ideas with video.
- It’s easier for grant review panels. Poor funding decisions can be minimised, although I’m not sure there is any data suggesting this is likely.
- The costs in time (e.g. salary costs) and effort, both for preparing and reviewing grants are rather large. An unsuccessful grant application presents a massive opportunity costs.
The authors here are making the general case for video, and stop short of a precise vision of future grant applications. Video content in addition to the existing grant requirements may well save grant reviewers time, but at the expense of authors. I think I prefer the idea of a video alongside a massively reduced grant proposal. I’ve already prepared my video grant application…
Update: Thanks to John Mildinhall for pointing this out…
Doran, M. R., Lott, W. B., & Doran, S. E. (2014). Multimedia: a necessary step in the evolution of research funding applications. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 39(4), 151–153. doi:10.1016/j.tibs.2014.01.004