Today I finished ranking all the files from that imposing boxful of scholarship applications. The whole task, so far, has taken up just a little more than a day and I’ll probably add about another day’s work to the task over the next two weeks as I’m chairing the panel and will have to process, collate and confirm our joint rankings. (There’ll be a bit of massaging on our different rankings to come up with an agreeable outcome overall, a reversion list to rank in order of preference and a lot of forms to fill out.)

Of all the “service to the discipline” that there is, serving as a reviewer for granting agencies (scholarships or research funding) has to be one of my favourite activities because you get to see an amazing range of creative scholarship and feel as if you’re helping out, albeit in a humble, unsung way, some bright new stars in the field.

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