I noted earlier in Zombie Funding that programs can dwindle from a huge amount of available money to virtually nothing, but they can also rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. Isaac also commented on this phenomenon in Zombie Funding – Six Tana Leaves for Life, Nine for Motion.
Now I’ve seen a more recent example of the monster: last year the School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs had $1,680,000 available for 12 awards; this year it’s got $12,750,000 for 85 awards, as the link demonstrates. I’m not sure why the program got an extra $11 million, but it leads to another important but perhaps not obvious point: rejection for an application one year doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t apply the next, as changes in the program might make you more likely to be funded. The vast amount of extra money allocated to the School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs could be a reaction to a large number of highly qualified applicants.
Or it could be random, but the additional money available still makes the School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs more attractive to anyone who applied or thought about applying previously.