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Winds of Change.

1 October 2012

It’s a good thing that I’ve been applying to new positions for the past month and a half. It seems almost certain that I will not have a job at my present institution when my current appointment is up. All PhD researchers must be “cost neutral”. Which means that I must supply 100% of my salary ASAP. Well, that won’t happen by the time my appointment runs out at the end of March.

It also probably means there’s no point in my submitting my R01eq, because even if it were funded on the first submission, it would only cover 50% of my salary at most. I’m in a position most of my tenure track colleagues will not be familiar with: even the gold-standard best grant in the world will not save my job. They’ll simply say: what have you done for me lately?

So I am making plans to leave. And I’m making contacts in other aspects of the industry. I could be doing corporate consulting. Or private consulting. I even spoke to a friend about picking up a few credit hours teaching math at a local community college, which I would enjoy a lot I think.

My computer is out at work. This is the second day. So I can’t really do anything. I got a revision request from the editor-in-chief of a big fancy journal, pre-review. Change up the paper, do another experiment, resubmit. Considering this journal could easily have just desk-rejected, and been happy to move on, it suggests that it has a good chance at eventually competing strongly. The EIC likes it. I know a lot of my readers will disapprove of my being nakedly hopeful about publishing in a major, non-open access journal. But I’m a new investigator still. And that’s the game. This is a big time one-word-name journal. Getting something in there could be career altering.

Anyway, I’m writing this on my phone, which is arduous and embittering. I’ll leave you all with this: now that I have essentially decided that I am not going to keep this job, I feel a little freer. I’ll do what I can to be productive until my time is over. Then I’ll move on. I’m afraid. But I have been in much direr straights than this in my life. And I always come through. Because my life is not really about getting what I want. It’s about accepting what comes, being grateful for what I have, and using my talents to be of service. I’ve been impactful on my science, in my community, and upon those who have sought help from me to recover from alcoholism and addictions. And I have more to give.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Penelope permalink
    1 October 2012 11:02

    Since you “have more to give” please feel free to fly out and give me a hand after my hip surgery.

    • 1 October 2012 11:14

      I would love to. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to take any vacation because if I’m going to have a gap in employment, I get paid for that when my time runs out. So I’m entirely bound here for now except for my quick trip to the East Coast in two weeks.

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