Ode to the NIH Payline

Ode to the NIH Payline!

Oh payline, how I have missed you!
Only a brief time ago, topping 20 was nothing new.
But, alas, your hand turned red and made me so very blue.
What? Revise a 14.2?!?

Disbelief! Calamity! Despair!
The cry heard from offices and labs across the land – No Fair!

Dear payline – I beseech you! With main and might!
I’ll be good, key phrases (“anti-terror”) into my grant I can write!
No more cuts, no more frights,
No more funds to encourage 20-somethings to keep their pants zipped tight!

You have been a faithful patron, and I an indulged mistress
I admit – I was spoiled by your largess.

But I’ve learned my lesson, I have, I promise!
I will write to you in the correct font, with ample spaces, and no extra commas.
I’ll show you brevity, brilliance, and drama!
Just please show me you care again, and I’ll pay you homage.

I’ll do anything, earnestly I’m pleading –
I’ll forsake my computer and write using ink from my heart that is bleeding!

But….what’s that you say?
And that sound – is it a bray?
A change, a sliver of hope, a tiny ray?
What this about Election Day?

Tax and spend? More government? A new New Deal?
Bring it on, I call with zeal!

And payline, payline! To thee I say with glee!
(With a wink to Harold), “Call me!”

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2 thoughts on “Ode to the NIH Payline”

  1. You must have been the reviewer. When a few typo’s or writing style is the reason for canning a grant then we know things are out of hand. The riches are shared by the few and powerful who are part of the “club.” It’s time to stop choking the careers of young scientist.

  2. If the author of this poem writes his/her grants with the talent exhibited in this poem, no wonder the payline is out of reach.

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