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cosmic_quanta 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite

The only source in the article is a faculty member who was denied a grant.

Here is the explanation the funding agency uses:


Putting on my 'dealing with faculty and grantsmanship' hat, I would bet good money he was confrontational in his application and that more than anything was why it didn't get funded. There are definitely faculty out there who don't get funded simply because they are too difficult to deal with.

In parallel, no one is going to check or hold you accountable on these things and they list the criteria. They don't hide it, its right there. They are the funding agency, the government directs them to set priorities and policies and they did. Stating up front that you believe their policies and priorities are stupid is not a great way to get anyone to give you money.

He's just participating in performative nonsense.

> “We will hire the most qualified people based upon their skills and mutual interests,” Kambhampati wrote on the application.

> “I’ve had two people say that was the kiss of death,” said Kambhampati.

> the council said, “the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion considerations in the application were deemed insufficient.”

So he might have a point.

So you're saying the criteria is stupid but that's okay since no one will check?

And he's the one participating in performative nonsense and not the government and funding agency?

Setting diversity/inclusion targets and then enforcing them via publicly stated policy is the opposite of "performative nonsense". They're putting their words into action. You can argue against the targets (or the effectiveness of the policy) but don't be ridiculous.

The funding agency explicitly stated the reason for denial, no? They specifically said he is not meeting the diversity initiative.

If he’s hard to deal with as the true reason, then did this funding agency cook some bullshit reason up to reject him? In that case I support this hard to deal with asshole.

Lastly, when did we get to a point where cutting edge laser-research requires ‘easy to deal with people’? He’s a fucking professor at a research university, that’s pretty good in my book for achieving culture-fit (the workplace analogy).

Repeat after me - we do not need the guy building us cutting edge laser technology to be easy to deal with, we do not need him to be a people person. We need lasers.


My take is he’s hiring mostly Indians. It might be worthwhile to sit him down and say ‘look, you are literally only hiring Indians’ lol. Not giving either side a pass here, but devolving the argument down to semantics always leads us to the war of semantic attrition. The funding body should clearly say ‘you cannot literally just hire only Indians, please be reasonable’, and then have the dipshit explain how ‘only Indians understand and care about lasers and no one else’. Then all of the cards will be face up.

So does anyone have the actual grant application and the actual rejection letter? Is that available to the public? I know the national post has a political spin and I’d like to see the evidence for myself.

My experience with this particular funding agency is that the rejection isn't justfied. Just like a job interview: 'We have decided to go in a different direction'.

This stands in contrast to e.g. the Quebec equivalent, FRQNT, which has always provided me detailed 'rejection' reports

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