Various Lies

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So, you wanna be a star, huh, kid?

Dear Dr. Tideliar. Can I call you me? OK,

Dear Me.

You wanted to be a Faculty member, and just like all postdocs who aspire to that lofty perch upon the alabaster tower of academe, didn't really believe all that was expected of you could really be So. Much. Fucking. Work.

Well congratulations sucker, welcome to the nest. You might not yet be full Faculty rank, but you're doing your damnedest to get there, and you're as close as you can be without actually having to teach as well.

Find attached the Internal Funding Opportunity grant application you have been volunteered to review. Because this is your first "study section" be sure to have plenty of sleepless nights panicking that you're screwing it up somehow. Try and have two copies of the review at all times, so if you feel you've been to kind you can work on version A, if you've been too harsh, version B. Also, make sure that your self-confidence is at an all time low, and personal paranoia is at an all time high, when you walk in that review room.

Yes son, they *are* all talking about *you*!

OK. Crack on then. And don't forget about the grants you need to write, and the staff you need to manage. And the meetings that need to be arranged, and the supplies that need ordering. Don't forget to keep an eye on your position on the totem pole (watch for splinters, and try not to slip).

Stop sitting there feeling proud/sorry for yourself son! You've got a 1PM meeting to prepare for! (and you'd better get over to PubMed and start reading those references...)

best, and warmest regards,



Genomic Repairman said...

I've heard of the two version reviews before. Never seen it, but it is not unheard of. How ever the real fun is in choosing which of the two you submit.

Cynnie said...

you're way over my head..
I'm aggressive..and I'm quick ( not really smart mind you..a person can be quick without really being a brain)
so i was always bumped up the company ladder..
until 1990..
I got a big shot job that was way past my wee abilities and I had to spend most of my free time studying up on how to do it.
I was i said fuck it..
I'm an indian, Im happiest being an indian
I never wanna be a chief again.

but good luck you!!

tideliar said...

@GR: I've been offered guidance and help by the person who nominated me. Who is also a clinical psychologist and offered to shrink me if I actually have the nervous/emotional/physical breakdown I feel coming.

@Cynnie: I think I spend most my time sprinting forwards so as not to slip backwards. But the blog-world has been a huge help and confidence booster. Seems *everyone* feels like this. It doesn't so much get easier; you just get used to the pressure!

Genomic Repairman said...

I think we in the science blogosphere function as a support group for each other, generally providing critical, but supportive feedback to questions, ideas, etc. I know I've learned so much (not just about science) in the short time (~2 months) that I've been blogging.

tideliar said...

During the first incarnation of this blog (2004-2007), I was unemployed and then a postdoc here at my new place. I had no idea that there was a scientific bloggosphere, outside of the (then..) meagre resources of Scienceblogs etc.

When I returned in 2009 it was due to finding and enjoying the journey's of Professor in Training, and Proflike Substance, and others (some now gone). Since then I'm a visitor to many other academic blogs. In fact, nowadays, 90% of my blog roll is academic or science related. I think this reflects the increase in scientists blogging as scientists (as opposed to just unfocused rant blogging), and also a new found, or re-found love of science on my part.

microbiologist xx said...

I was completely shocked when I discovered all the science related blogs and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered how supportive and helpful this community could be. It's great to discover you aren't the only one who feels the way you do.

B.T.W. good luck with everything. :)

Sorrowclouds said...

It will get better :)