Monday, March 19, 2018

Deadlines

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." - Douglas Adams

Friends, when I started this blog, part of my motivation was to give you an honest inside look into the life of a scientist. I wanted you to know it's not all lab coats and pipette tips (personally, I wear rubber boots more often than anything). I wanted you to see that science is community-based, not a solitary activity, and that the pursuit of knowledge transcends borders. I wanted to share with you my adventures. But I also want you to know that science involves a lot of writing.

A lot. Of writing.

You might remember the five-figure word count I achieved when penning my dissertation. I've told tales of writing, submitting, and revising scientific manuscripts before. I've shared with you my joy and pride when one gets published. Writing papers about research is a huge part of scientific life.

What I haven't told you as much about is the process of writing research proposals. This is partly because proposal-writing is a new element in my career that I'm just starting to explore. Research requires money. And money is given in grants. So in this business, we're constantly writing grant proposals.

I've had several proposal deadlines "whoosh" past in the last month, and I've done my best to meet each of them. As a post-doc, I'm not ready to spearhead big proposals yet, but I'm getting my feet wet and building my confidence in the meantime. I've submitted proposals to private foundations and WHOI internal competitions. So far, I've been successful twice, which is a great feeling. Each proposal I submit is for slightly more money and slightly more research, so I'm building up to bigger grants. We'll see what projects I can get funded!

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