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The Way We Were…

Paper Stack

The way we were…

Its competition deadline time again!

The years go flying by and the time in between competitions seems to get shorter and shorter.

Things have certainly changed since I started working here many years ago. I remember the day I started at MHRC, arriving to a mountain of paper. It was the beginning of March and competition closing date. That meant 10-14 copies of each grant arrived in my small office that was cleverly hidden behind the University Medical Group’s offices in the Chown Building. These grants were sorted into committee type and entered into a Dbase IV (a database management system for microcomputers) where the coordination of the competition was managed. Now the applicant electronically enters their application, attaches the necessary attachments like their own or their supervisors CCV, has supervisors and University officials sign them and electronically submits the completed application to our offices. Reviewers log into our Grants Management System and rate applications that they may be able to provide a valuable critique of online, all without printing out 10-14 copies of each application.

It is nice to see that while the competition has grown we can now manage the number of copies of each grant electronically and save many trees each year in the process. Once upon a time I was the sole full-time employee guided by a half-time Executive Director. It was a tremendous amount of work having the competition run smoothly. Don’t get me wrong, the workload is still around but the laborious nature of the work has changed significantly.

That first day in March, many years ago, was my first introduction to a community of warm, dedicated and diligent individuals. There was and still is an energy in our health research community that is indescribable, I guess that is part of what has kept me working here so long.

Liz Ford