Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Depressive side of depression

So I got 2 proposals rejected this week. I handled the first one fine, but 2 back to back like this in a week have sucked the life out of me. I couldn't get out of bed this morning, what's the point, etc. I wish I had gotten these responses months ago, I don't understand why they had to sit on this information for so long, neither was close to being funded. What really has me spiraling out of control is that the reviews really tore into the fundamentals of my research, calling it irrelevant and redundant. So apparently the majority of what my lab does is supposedly pointless and unnecessary.

It's hard to reconcile those assertions against my groups fairly good publication record and the invitations I've been getting to talk at reputable conferences in my field. I'm not sure what to think, but these reviews coming in as my cash reserves are dwindling really have cast doubt on my abilities. All of sudden, I don't know what to do next. What am I supposed to propose? These reviewers attacked the approaches I'm using to do research and questioned the big picture goal of two of the three thrusts in my lab. There's no revising and resubmitting proposals that get reviews like this. Should I shut down those projects that have been going since I started the lab and have made progress?  I think I'll have to if I can't get them funded again soon. If I propose a different technique they'll tell me I don't have expertise. AAahh! This all sucks.

Well, back to editing papers filled with interesting data and mustering enthusiasm to write a young investigator proposal that requires me to describe how awesome I am.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Happy New Year! I'm putting in my tenure package this year and I'm anxious to just get this over. I'm actually starting to get a bit bored with my job. I've sort've hit steady state and now I'm settling into a routine. Think, write, submit, repeat, edit, teach, serve, repeat. Maybe I need to move or change fields.

I'd love to get another grant funded before I go up, but that really isn't in my control and with the ridiculously long turnaround times, I only have a few more months of trying for that anyway. I'm still waiting to hear back about proposals from the summer. Most of my colleagues have heard back, but I haven't yet. This makes me nervous, I'm probably on the border for everything. Where's the stimulus package when you need one?

I got wrangled into a hiring committee and have to go through a hundred applications in the next few weeks. Separately, I've gone through a good chunk of them and I've yet to see a single US born applicant. I'm trying to figure out what this says about the US academic system and the attractiveness of TT jobs in engineering.