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Better Than Sobbing into a Glass of Wine

First, it’s the anticipation, tinged with the idea that you may actually receive funding and the inevitable crash. But then, Courtney Long, a postdoctoral fellow at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, writes at Nature Jobs, the email arrives. And hidden within the 'compliment sandwich' is the bad news: rejection.

So, Long notes, you slide over into the second stage od dealing with grant rejection and start explaining to your computer screen why you should have been funded, which feeds into the next stages of anger and pride

"With [the pride] stage you realize that obviously your ideas were so clever and so cutting-edge, down to every last meticulous detail that the reviewers clearly didn’t understand," she says. "A small part of you may even start to feel like maybe you didn’t really even want the funding if it meant being associated with such short-sighted, unimaginative, explicative nincompoops."

With that, you move into the temper tantrum stage and, perhaps, may start throwing things. But, Long says, your vision then begins to clear as you enter the final stage: acceptance.

"Your body releases a natural sedative that gives you a little perspective and maybe, just maybe, you start to see some of their points. And, yea, ok, maybe even agree with a few," she says. "You are finally ready to take the three flights of stairs down to retrieve your laptop off the sidewalk, make a nice cup of joe, and rewrite."