Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why can't all applications be this easy?

Today I filled out an application for a small research grant. What amazed me was how much simpler this particular application was than every single other such application in all of world history. It consisted merely of one simple fill in the blank form of one page, a 500 word proposal, and a single letter of recommendation. The form was easy to download and fill out and required no scanning. The web site did not cause me any problems. The total amount of pages I needed to personally submit was only two, and the organization requested that it be sent by e-mail attachment rather than by a very complex and almost impossible to use web site as every other application seems to now require. I am not sure why this form was so simple. Don't they know that the way to deter large numbers of applicants is to make the process extremely difficult and painful and to require the submission of dozens of pages that have to be copy and pasted or scanned into web sites that don't allow you to advance beyond one or two pages of a required dozen pages of entry blanks? Most applications take days or weeks to fill out. This one took me only about an hour.

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