Have you recently put an incredibly amount of work in a grant proposal and got rejected? I know how it feels. I have recently received twice in a row the dreaded "not discussed" from the NIH. I am writing this piece as a counterpoint to all the "look how I great I am" posts of twitter. Yes, I have been rejected. Yes, it hurts. And, yes, it will get better.
Research grants are the core of our existence as scientists. They pay for our staff and students and thus any grant application that fails puts us a step closer towards not knowing how to cover the salaries. That does cause worry! Also, it often pays for our own salary, so every grant rejection also has the implication of a potentially reduced income (this is more prominent in medical schools). Also, of course, we are convinced that our ideas are really cool and worth pursuing. What I find is that for scientists there is often no real (healthy?) divide between their own personal existence and the science they do. As a result, any rejection (paper or grant for that matter) feels very personal despite it is (hopefully) never meant that way. Despite all this, we need to learn how to constructively deal with (grant) rejections. Below I am listing some pointers and ideas that I hope will help!