I need to write an outline of my research for a grant. The orginization I am applying to, NSERC asks for:
"Body text in a minimum 12 pt Times New Roman font"
Well here's a little problem, I don't own Windows and getting my hands on an MS product to write the proposal irks me a bit. I also don't like the idea that people's taxes are being used to promote a proprietary font. NSERC should ask for an open font, such as Liberation Serif.
In short, can I use another font or must I really use a microsoft product to type this proposal?
As a general answer to those thinking this is silly/non-important. The font times new roman is a proprietary font, meaning it requires quite a bit of effort to access it on systems that have don;t have a license for it (I am in such a system, so this is already affecting me).
But moreover, this is a public grant. This is effectively pushing people towards using proprietary software for research (or in this case to apply for research grants) and that is not ok when there are perfectly valid free fonts that achieve the same result.
NSERC does NOT give away free money, NSERC collects funds from taxes and reinverts them into research. It is not ok for a public organization to favour proprietary tools when free tools that achieve the exact same purpose exist. It literally disenfranchizes individuals.
Imagine if instead of a proprietary font, the grant process demanded that you submite a docx file or another, similar, proprietary file format. This would essentially be NSERC promoting MS software which would be, by definition, a corruption of academic incentives. This matters, it is not the most important issue in the world, but it matters.