One of the many things that suck about being an utterly broke PI is having to put "TBD" for all personnel in NIH grant budget justifications. You are essentially saying, "trust me, I'll find someone to do the work." But why should they? To me, having competent personnel in place is as much a "feasibility" situation as having preliminary data for all your Aims. Why should they trust you to get the work done if they don't even know who's going to do it?
So the question is, should I add a note somewhere (either in the introduction to the Personnel justification or in the biosketch statement where you account for gaps in productivity or whatever) that says, in effect, "Look, my lab is empty because I have no money to pay anyone, so everyone here is TBD. Past personnel searches have resulted in X quality applications. If you give me some (money), I am confident that I will promptly re-populate the lab with highly qualified individuals who can carry out the work in this proposal."
Or no? For those of you on study sections, have you seen applicants dinged for "TBD" personnel?