Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Babies and grants

Last week at lab meeting, my advisor told the group that he had just received word that a third major grant he submitted this year has been funded. We now have more than $2500 to spend PER DAY for the next five years. So, he continued telling us, he won't need to write any more grants for about three years. Now, it's time to get out lots of papers.

Gee, thanks. So glad I could be with you during more than three and a half years of babies and grants. Three and a half years when you were often absent, or holed up in your office, refusing to speak to anyone. Three and a half years with scant guidance because you refused to hire a post doc because you didn't think you could get one good enough. Three and a half years of hanging wall clocks, ordering basic supplies, and building equipment. (Did I mention that I started in the lab just 6 months after my advisor got here?) Three and a half years of being cramped in a too-small lab because we grew so quickly, but didn't have the clout to get more space.

To his credit, I guess, my advisor is now trying to get me interested in a bunch of "side" projects, each of which he expects will take only 4-6 weeks, and each of which will get me authorship (2nd or 3rd) on the resulting paper. But, here's the thing. I'm about to enter my fifth year in this lab, and I am already well into my 6th year of grad school over all. At this point in my career, 6 weeks for 2nd authorship on a paper just isn't worth it. I'm exhausted, spent. I don't want to spend even 5 minutes on anything that isn't going to directly advance me towards graduation.

I'm done. All done. It's time to move on.


Joseph Smidt said...

I'm sure once I have been in grad school that long I will have the same feelings. I'm going to be happy for you when you graduate.

It's too bad things had to be this stressful. (I just read your last "Really" post and just had to shake my head at that one too.)

Well, good luck with all that comes next in your life. It's always fun to read your posts.

Miss Outlier said...

That sounds very frustrating.

I wish you the speediest and most efficient route to your goal....