Posted by: thebylog | July 24, 2009

Academic Funding

In many academic positions, a prerequisite to success is the prolific procurement of funds from outside funding agencies.  In my view it’s a somewhat dreary business because it involves paperwork and inevitably diverts energy from actual research, instead requiring much effort expended in support of proposing research. But if you are in chemistry and your work requires expensive equipment, what can you do?

Statistics is not quite as dependent upon such funding as many science and engineering disciplines, because statistical research is relatively inexpensive to conduct.  However, pressure to bring in money still exists and if you are a young researcher, a successful grant proposal seems to be a definite feather in the tenure cap.

I currently exist in the academy, yet I am a student not an academic.  Still, I have been touched by this funding model since wouldn’t it be nice if I could quit working as a teaching or research assistant during my last year and get a pay raise to boot?

So this last spring I spent quite a bit of time customizing my curriculum vitae, writing this essay and that compressed dissertation proposal, tweaking an abstract here and filling out an application form there.  The complete results of my labors aren’t in, but while I’m not batting 1.000, it has paid off.


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