This is one of the yearly "crunch times" for those of us who write grant proposals for research: the Department of Defense SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grants come due on the 15th.
I'm currently under the gun in two ways here; first to get the grants written and sent out, and second I have to win at least one more SBIR in the next seven months. My contract requires that I win at least two a year (my year starts end of July), and I won one from NASA already.
The problem with this is, of course, that winning grants is only partially in my control. I can control how well the proposal is written, and to SOME extent how well it addresses what the solicitation wants. But I cannot control the company's prior accomplishments, their image, and their resources, and even less can I control the way in which the reviewers will perceive the proposal. There is no way for me to know if there are some unspoken requirements or "inside tracks", etc., and no way to prevent my proposal from being examined on someone's "bad day". Even if I model my proposal on prior winning proposals, there's no guarantee that even the internal format (aside from the basic required structure) will appeal to the current reviewers. It's gotten harder to win 'em by many accounts. So I'm a bit nervous.
Once this is over, I'm going to go to Genericon (Troy, NY) and then finish a tentative outline for Eric Flint on a new potential collaboration.