Update on Job Stuff.
I received a note today from the headhunter’s office that the department head of the university in Singapore that is considering me for a professorship will be meeting with the selection committee on Monday, which is Sunday night for me. So I expect to hear something, hopefully, in the next week about whether they want me to come to Singapore and give a job talk. I responded to the note by sending off a couple of lines that have been added to my CV in the past two weeks, saying that I didn’t know if it was apropos, but here it is anyhow.
I had a poster accepted to a medical conference in Turkey (a colleague will be presenting it), and I got a low-to-middle five figures supplemental funding award for my current grant, which I’ve already complained about here. Those things will hopefully be relayed to the selection committee. Any time there’s reportage of science, and receipt of funding, that looks pretty good to a university, presumably. In my less jaded moments, I still think that universities care about producing science, and not just about managing an endowment.
I also had a cool conversation with some people in Pittsburgh about an engineering idea to study and hopefully address a health care delivery problem. They are interested in funding it, they said. This isn’t a grant, it would just be direct funds paid to my institution for some of my time. I guess consulting would be a basic way to describe it in concept, expect that they Pittsburgh group is under the same large umbrella organization as my institution.
I was able to send some of my funds from my supplemental award to Local Research University (LRU), which is working hard on securing funding for my line, and so buying some statistical support from them for my current study will actually likely help fund my own future position in an indirect fashion. I’d very much like to work there, and it would mean a joint position with my current job. All of it would still be pure soft money, of course. But I’m starting to realize that there are unexplored sources for that, and that my engineering skills can be deployed in ways that solve problems, look like consulting to one group, and research to another.
But as more time passes, and I think about it seriously, I am warming, significantly, to the idea of moving to Singapore. If the job is good, the funding lines are high, the collegiality is strong, the salary significant, and the city is nice, then the only problem is that it’s far from home. Well, I don’t have a problem with that, really. I am already far from family. How frequently I see them is not going to be affected by an additional 7500 miles. It’s still just a plane ride every eighteen months or so.
I like my job. I really do. I want to keep it. I want to add an assistant professorship at LRU. And I know that every department has its own idiosyncrasy and SNAFU. But my current place is so dysfunctional it’s painful. I was talking with some tweeps today (@doc_becca, @namnazia, @neuropolarbear) about administration and management. They have glittering, functional administrations that submit grants for them and solve problems. I don’t have that. I have to redo all the administrative work, it seems. My administration is an impediment to research, not a facilitator of it.
So maybe it is simply time to make a massive sea change in my work life. I don’t know. I know that this is a strange, unexpected, and welcome opportunity that I am going to make the most of. The rest will sort itself out.