a faculty member at a northeastern university who started in August 2008.
and the eponymous blog is dedicated to:
Sharing the highs and lows of becoming a new faculty member in a university science department
If that's not enough to induce you to click, read on.
Two days ago it looked like this trip could be a bust and that I was going to go home empty-handed, which would have made the grant we are working on significantly more difficult to "sell". Yesterday we had some major breaks, both in terms of data and realizations about how to explain some very nagging problems with our arguments regarding our data. The whole thing is still a massive mind-fuck, but at least we have a plan and a way to explain it now.
It's a big day for preliminary data here on the ranch. We have been testing a couple of methods the material we need from our samples and are finally getting some results back today. Additionally, we are cranking up one of our new machines today for the first time and will know how that is running in a couple of days. We're trying to provide data for two different grants and time is becoming a limiting factor.
Yesterday afternoon's faculty meeting was devoted to discussing the tenure application of one of the faculty members in our department. It is unusual for departments to include untenured faculty in the discussion of another member's tenure, so it was an interesting meeting to be in
As you might expect, everyone wants a space larger than what they currently occupy and new faculty, such as myself, are stuck trying to predict what they will need a few years down the road. When you have been at this for only a couple of months, that is not so easy, nor is it simple to defend your space needs when your lab is not up to capacity. By the time we occupy the new building I will have two graduate students working in the lab, but ideally I would like to have 4-6 students and two post-docs in there once I begin to bring some grants in. The trick is holding onto space that you can grow into before you have the personnel to fill it.
If I get outside at all during the day it is a little bit of a victory, unless I am running to get signatures on something because I am too close to a deadline to risk campus mail.
UPDATE: and somehow I managed to blow the money quote....
an hour-long talk by a renowned research from the UK giving a key note ...looks VERY much like an elder Darwin, with one key exception - he wears a kilt and Doc Martin boots...By the time that it was my turn to speak I was a bit less nervous... Nevertheless, I had a far more shocking discovery to make....I got a couple of slides in before I scanned the crowd and got an unexpected sight. It turns out that Darwin conforms to tradition when it comes to kilt wearing and in panning the audience I found more than eyes staring down at me. I don't even remember going through the two slides subsequent to the sight of Darwin and his "boys" observing my talk
And there's lots more. Go read.