Here’s another rejection I received a couple of years ago. This one’s from Google, for a proposal to build a software development lab for inexperienced programmers. I’m glad this didn’t get funded; it sounded like a lot of work. It certainly helped that Google put such a professional touch on their rejection:
We would like to thank you for submitting your proposal “Cycode: the software development lab as classroom for new undergraduate programmers” to our Google Research Awards Program. We appreciate your patience during the review process, as we conduct a thorough, consensus-driven review of all the submissions that we receive. Dozens of Google researchers and engineers form review committees along their areas of expertise and the research directions that Google is pursuing. Recommendations from these committees are compiled in order to find the best possible fit between proposals and the research directions that we are currently considering.
We regret to inform you that your proposal was not recommended for funding. Since we are always moving forward and new directions are constantly being considered, please visit the Google Research website, where you will find the most updated information about new research directions and programs at Google.
We appreciate the time you spent submitting your proposal, and we wish you great success in your research and your work.