The text messages from anxious applicants are getting shorter. This week, they are generally down to just, “Anything?” or “Any news?”. Capitalisation and punctuation have become optional.
Unfortunately, the best we know at the CRC Association is a short answer as well, “Soon”.
We know that the CRC Advisory Committee has completed its work. The CRC-Project Round 2 seems to have gone over very smoothly, with 62 applications received.
The full CRC funding round has had some road bumps. Problems occurred with the uploading of second stage applications and for at least one bid, there were inconsistences between the submitted documentation and what the Committee had at the time of interview. It is not known if the problems are serious enough to cause any delay in announcing the outcomes of the 18th Funding Round. It may well mean separate announcements are made for CRCs and CRC-Ps.
Another possible spanner in the works is whether we retain Minister Hunt in the reshuffle that could be announced as soon as today. There is media speculation that Minister Hunt may be moved to the Health portfolio. If that happens, we would expect the new Minister, the seventh in seven years, to take a bit of time to come up to speed.
It is often the case that CRC selection goes into January. Hopefully, we won’t see it drift into February. The need to be able to get on with planning and contract is well understood.