1) Grant review conundrums:
I have submitted proposals to NSF, DOE, and various DoD agencies, and in general there is always a 1-page summary (called different things by different agencies), a project description/narrative (a.k.a. "the meat"), and various supporting documents (biosketch, current and pending, facilities and equipment, letters of support/collaboration). I don't know how NIH proposals are structured, but I bet they roughly have the same outline (plus likely IRB paperwork that is necessary when working with living creatures).
When you review a grant proposal, what do you read first?
How much material do you go though before a nearly final opinion of grant proposal is formed?
I am sure every one of my readers is a conscientious scientist who carefully examines the whole document, but you know as well as I do that an opinion is subconsciously formed much before all is read. Sometimes an initially good opinion is ruined by the time I finish reading a proposal, but rarely do I decide I want something funded if it didn't grab me pretty soon after I started reading.
2) Conference invited speaker reimbursement
It turns out some invited speakers have significantly higher expectations in terms of what should be reimbursed than others.
When you have an invited talk at a conference (NOT a seminar), which expenses do conference organizers commonly reimburse?