Friday, February 13, 2015

NIH Help

Fuck a duck, my R01 submission, which was meticulously developed and written, was triaged. It's probably still a few weeks until I get the summary statement. I wasn't expecting to get funded, but I thought it would at least be discussed, particularly given my NI/ESI status. I'm really curious to see what exactly the reviewers didn't agree with.

This leads me to a new dilemma. I really didn't want my proposal reviewed by this particular panel, but a dude from CSR convinced me this was the best move. So now I want to resubmit this proposal and force it into the panel I want. Can I still do this with the NI special resubmission window? Due 4/10. The other panel might be biased by the "not discussed" now though, so maybe it would be better to wait until the next standard window and apply it as a new grant. Thoughts?

I have a completely different project that I'll be submitting for the June window. We'll see how that one fairs.

Also, how many folks out there prescreen their ideas with program managers at the various institutes before submitting grants on the topic? I've heard from a few people that this is done, but I've never met anyone who has actually done this.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow days and complaints

Nothing highlights my childish nature more than my complaints about working on snow days. It's totally not fair. I've spent more time working this last week than during holiday breaks. The worst part is that I'm still ridiculously behind. Mostly because I've been stuck writing letters of recommendation for myself. I can churn out letters for students at this point, but 2-3 page letters describing how awesome I am drive me nuts. Of course this is all because other faculty also hate writing LORs and pawn it off by saying I know best what to include. Which of course is also a lie. I haven't won any awards yet, so how am I supposed to know if I'm highlighting the right things? I have to write 4 of them for this stupid award. It's like pulling teeth. I'm really tempted to just start going completely over the top and saying things like "he is god's gift to chemistry" and "I'll be shocked if he doesn't get a Nobel Prize for this work."

In other complaints, the number of requests I'm getting to submit manuscripts to trash journals and to present at sham conferences is starting to get out of control. This is the new spam of academia, and it's so much worse than penis pills because occasionally I get a real invite, so I have to at least open all of this crap and glance at it. At this point I'm deleting immediately any email that starts by addressing me by my full name. These are obviously cut and paste jobs from one of my papers. I've even gotten some that are addressed to my students, because they are the first author, but I'm the corresponding author. These must be just programs sending out automatic emails. The journal names are even starting to sound downright stupid. I got an invite from the journal of microscopic organisms the other day. Today, the world-renowned Ecronicon publishing company wants me to send them a paper in the next 2 weeks. I'm afraid to even click on the link since it'll probably install a virus on my computer.

Is there any money to be made in these things? I understand the usefulness of penis pills, but paying someone hundreds or even thousands of dollars to publish a paper in an unrecognizable journal or to travel to a conference that no one has ever heard of? Beyond the absurdity, who actually has money to do this?