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Discourses and Tales of Grant-Seeking Activity

Academic Writing and Professional Expertise


Haying Feng

Grant seeking – the first step in knowledge production – has been an indispensable part of academic life, yet a challenging task for neophyte as well as veteran scholars. We are always curious about how grant winners compose their abstracts, cite previous work, present their proposed study, and negotiate with gate-keepers behind the scene. Building upon ethnographic data and a large corpus of authentic research grant proposals and grant reviews, this book intends to demystify the grant seeking activity. It is an invaluable resource for grant agencies, grant reviewers and grant writers, particularly novice grant writers and/or non-native English writers.
Discourses and Tales of Grant-Seeking Activity is however more than a resource book. It is one of the few studies that draw upon two genre theories, encompass both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, and unite an exploration of macro-level recurrences in discursive activity and micro-level examinations of individual writers’ agency, positioning, negotiation and identity construction. It enhances our understanding of the development of professional expertise in academia and thus will be of interest to researchers in the fields of academic writing, genre analysis and Language for Specific Purposes (LSP).


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Appendix 3: Rebuttal Letter by Lam and his Co- Investigator - 239


239 Appendix 3: Rebuttal Letter by Lam and his Co-Investigator Dear Prof. Walder and Members of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies Panel: Re: Clearance of our RGC project (...) Title of the proposal ཰Even with the understanding that RGC has a no rebuttal policy for the Competitive Earmarked Research Grant Proposal Exercise, I still want to write this letter to request feedback for resolving the puzzle of me and my co-investigator regarding the inconsistency and unjustified final and overall judgment of our proposed project. ཱThe precious time and you and the panel members spent in reading/handling this letter would be useful in improving the communication between RGC and project pro- posers in the future. Puzzle regarding the inconsistency in ratings judgment ྄Based on the summary of the feedbacks of the first two assessors, the ratings are either ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ (see Appendix 1). ྅We are therefore dismayed by the assessment of the third assessor, who provides only a one-sentence comment and no ratings. ྆If the third assessor was not satisfied with our proposal (be it on its content or method, etc.), he/she should provide a more detailed, specific, and substantiated explanation. ྇If you were I, how would you react to a one-sentence only comment? ྈIf this one-sentence comment is a summary statement of the First Reader, I also see no basis for his/her summary in light of the very posi- tive ratings by the other two assessors. ྉIf the Second Reader was in- volved, should it be his/her...

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