All the Career Things.
Blogging will likely be a little light over the next two months. I’ll do my best, but I have an unfathomable amount of work to get done. This week I am giving the final presentation for my recent work with East Coasty University, and I have to write the final report today and tomorrow. I have now two grants to get in for the December cycle, my R01eq and another R03eq. Luckily, the R03eq is essentially written, I just have to update it for the current RFA. But that is still probably a week of work. The R01eq is exactly where it was the last time I reported on it, whenever that was. A couple of weeks of depression and anxiety let it wallow. Now I’m picking it back up.
I have submitted to a number of professorships at schools of public health and health administration around the country and in Canada. I’m going to look at Europe too, I think. Sweden is doing amazing work in these fields, and England has a special pull on me. There is one position that opened up at an awesome university that I am calling DREAM JOB. There’s a big-name PI there who I’ve spoken to a few times, and so – on the advice of the professoriate on twitter – I contacted her and informed her I was applying for the position. It’s not in her department, but it’s in the School of Public Health.
She suggested I look up the work of another Associate Professor there. So, again at the advice of my twitterati, I wrote a polite note describing our common areas of interest to this professor (He’s an operations researcher working in systems in public health. We’re basically the same dude, except he’s older and more successful than me.). He wrote back the same day telling me he’d be glad to talk to me! Now, I don’t know if this will put me in contention for this job. This school is world-famous, highly regarded. And it’s an open-rank position. They’ll probably be getting applications from people with multiple papers in NEJM and The Lancet, and multiple million-dollar histories of grant funding. But hopefully, just maybe, they’ll be looking for an early stage investigator with systems experience and proof of the ability to get extramural funding.
That’s what it comes down to. My publication record is undistinguished. It is, arguably, abysmal. but I’m hopeful that that will change soon. I have three papers currently under review. Two are at plain journals. Respected in their fields but not particularly impressive. The other is at a major journal, universally regarded as the best journal in its field in the world. the Editor-in-Chief wrote to me about my paper when I submitted it, asking me to make revisions prior to review. I did and resubmitted. He wrote me again, saying that he “partially agreed” with my response to his review, but that it was “close enough to ask for advice from reviewers”. He said that he’d have requests in addition to whatever they ask for. Which is fine. When the EIC of a major journal asks for revisions, you make them.
This is the kind of opportunity that could take my entire publishing history and go from undistinguished to competitive. It wouldn’t turn me into a well-recognized name or anything, but it would immediately make my CV one of those which you would look at and say that I do, in fact, have a history of publication in respected journals. It would clear a hurdle. If I could go in to a job talk with this in press, it would be a huge marker. If I can go in with two or three in press from my recent projects, showing that I can turn grant money into papers in good journals, I’ll be strongly competitive. I hope.
So. Three papers. Two grants. Two Final Reports. A Poster in a Conference. A Job Search. Still no word from Local Research University on my 25% position there. I believe it will happen; I can’t sit around assuming it will. And in the meantime, a trip to the East Coast. And then one further afield for a few days. It’s a bad time to travel, but I can’t do everything I need to do without taking some time off.