At the end of April I received the three referee reports for my grant application on “Philosophy as Science: The Project of the School of Brentano”. Two were very positive and endorsed my project proposal with the highest marks, but one was less enthusiastic and gave me the equivalent of a passing grade. I had 5 days to write a response that needed to address any and all weaknesses and underscore the strengths pointed out by the referees. In my reply I concentrated mostly on the one mediocre review and went through seven revisions before getting everything to fit on two pages. I sent my response in and waited to see whether I would be admitted to the next phase in the process.
Last week I then received the invitation to do an interview with the NWO VENI commission for the humanities. While this does not yet mean that I will obtain funding, it does suggest that the project is considered “fundable” in principle. The interview will take no more than 20 minutes, including 5 minutes for a brief presentation. The remaining time will be reserved for questions about my research project, the referee reports, and my reply, or anything else the commission might find relevant. Specifically, I was notified that the commission will want to discuss the “impact” and the “relevance” of my project. I guess this concerns the answers I can give to the questions “What results can we expect?” and “Why should we fund this?”. The commission will then prepare a report for NWO and the final decision will be announced in July.