Although it's technically not past the deadline yet, yesterday I admitted defeat for the grant proposal I was working on. It's no where near being done. This is a first for me. Failure to complete a scheduled task, especially one that involves my success in academia and being able to pay my trainees salaries, is unacceptable. Of course I'm writing this post instead of working on the proposal. Ugh.
A major reason (lying to myself) it's not done is because it's my first proposal outside my core areas of expertise. I want to use a new laser thingy in the proposed research. I have a rudimentary understanding of how it works and I think my minions can make a widget that will extend its functionality. I'm an expert in making these types of widgets.
The person that owns the laser thingy is an expert in the field of laser thingies and when I talk to them, I feel like a complete dumbass, and while they are willing to let me try out my widget, they are quite skeptical as to how awesome it will be. My gut tells me the widget/laser combo will rock and that they just don't understand how awesome my widgets are.
Do I need to become an expert on laser thingies when writing the proposal? Or should I stick with my new plan of having my minions build the widget, get preliminary data, then go off and write the proposal? I asked the laser thingy expert to be a co-PI and haven't heard back in over a day.