I got word recently that my CAREER proposal was rejected again (2nd time, only 1 more try allowed). It was disappointing because last year I had made the recommended category, but was not funded (need to be highly recommended), but this year, despite 3 very good ratings (only thing higher is excellent), I did not even make the recommended category. (Huh?)
The way I see it, the only way to get funded is to have all excellents, and in fact, the other grant that I did get funded had just that. My concern, apart from the fact that I will have difficulty funding my lab, is that if colleges don't adjust their tenure expectations given the current funding situation a whole generation (~ 5 years worth) of assistant professors may be lost.
Even the senior scientists are suffering, so one would hope that leniency is out there, but many times tenure decisions get rejected by administration (i.e., Deans) which may be slow to respond or slow to recognize changes (speaking generally, not sure about the situation here). I certainly hope that there is a level of understanding or I will probably be in trouble.
So right now, I am taking control of what I can, which is papers, and I am trying to publish as much as I can to show that I am at least productive, even if funding isn't forthcoming. Any other advice?