Well, the good news first — I went to San Francisco to make the pitch for our ‘Badges for Natural History’ proposal. We went as a family and met up with an old college friend (first time for about 30 years!) and her family who showed us the sights.
After that it was down to work with other members of our badges team: Jeff Homes from Encyclopedia for Life (EOL), based at Harvard (apparently in Stephen J Gould’s old lab — that’s cool);Jeremy Rice, programmer for EOL, who works from home in Alberquerque, and Scott Loarie and Ken-ichi Ueda from iNaturalist who are based in the Bay area. We spent a productive day together working on the final pitch (although constrained by having to submit the budget with a detailed commentary in advance) and starting to think about what work would need doing to make it all happen. The next day was the pitch itself — a nerve-wracking wait until our turn, but the presentation went well and I though we had done a good job.
Now for the bad news — we didn’t get the funding.
Unfortunately the funders have said they can’t give feedback so I have no idea why we weren’t successful. I really felt we had a strong and credible proposal so it was very disappointing to fail at the last hurdle, and depressing to feel one has let down our collaborators.
I guess there is a chance that we could take the same proposal to other funders, but I really don’t know of an appropriate source. Any suggestions welcome