Attempting to define success yields surprising pointers for researchers
When your job involves boosting researchers’ chances of gaining funding, the word ‘success’ is central. A glance at any funder’s website makes clear how concepts such as success and ‘research quality’ can occupy our minds, yet we still take them for granted.
As an exercise in my grant proposal training classes, I ask participants to define research quality in a general, measurable way. Although this rarely produces consensus, it always causes lively discussions that produce a list of features resembling funders’ evaluation criteria.