Monday, August 13, 2012

Fortune-Telling, Part Two

Finally, finally!  I have good news to share, and I’m finally sitting down to tell you.  The short version is that one of the grants my advisor and I submitted earlier this year was reviewed quite favorably.  The reviews weren’t good enough for us to get funding yet, so we’ll have to revise and resubmit the grant.  But I am cautiously optimistic about our chances for funding.

Wait.  Cautiously optimistic?  No, that’s not right.  I am thrilled to get positive reviews on the grant application.  Absolutely thrilled.  It’s very common for grants not to be funded the first time they are submitted; in fact, I think it happens more often than not with applications that are ultimately funded.  My feeling is that positive reviews and R&R (revise and resubmit) are about as much as we could have hoped for this time around.


I have to confess something to you.  I don’t feel right divulging too many details about the grant reviews, mainly because this grant was submitted under my advisor’s name, so it’s really his grant, though I think he would agree that I was the driving force behind the submission.  We wrote the research proposal together, as a collaboration, and I knew going into the submission process that it would be submitted under his name.  I am very satisfied with how we handled things—I was able to do most of the work writing the grant (which I loved), and my advisor and I revised, edited, and tweaked it together.  The most important things to me were that 1) I played a major role in the development and writing of the grant and 2) we submitted the very best proposal we could dream up.  Obviously getting our grant funded is the ultimate goal, but I don’t have control over that.  I focused on what I could do and what was under my control, and as far as those things go, I feel that I met my goals.

This month I’m working on an experiment to generate data that I think will be included in the grant.  The data will almost certainly be included in my not-yet-written paper.  I’ve already made a list of changes that need to be made to the text of the grant, and I’ll start working on those after I meet with my advisor this week.  In short, things are going well.  I am relieved that I get to keep my current job, for a little while longer at least.  Most of all, I am feeling just a tiny bit more confident about this whole postdoc gig.  2012 has been a really hard year for me, and the good news about this grant could not have come at a better time.

So, for now: eyes forward, chin up, shoulders squared, and fingers crossed for a grant resubmission and a manuscript that needs to be written soon… 


Raquelita said...

Yay for an R&R! That's tremendously good news, my friend!

Chrissy (The New Me) said...

Ha! This reminds me of how thrilled I am when I get a nice rejection from a journal or magazine. It's almost as awesome as actually getting published, which is a pretty sad thing. :)

Congrats on the progress! Sounds like you're getting closer and closer!

Rosiecat said...

Thanks, my dears!

Hee hee! Chrissy, I think it's very analogous. It's like, hey, I'm getting closer to NOT being rejected. Awesome! It also speaks to how important it is that we, as people in creative fields, cultivate methods that let us enjoy the process. The part where we achieve "legitimate" success is such a tiny fraction of the whole picture. I hope that I am getting better at handling the process and finding my rhythm. That's why I try to tell grad students that it's a really good idea for them to have a life outside the lab that makes them happy. It's almost guaranteed that you'll weather some really low points during science graduate school (and maybe that's true for MFAs as well?), but if you can enjoy life even when things suck, it will help you get through the hardest parts.

Shannon said...

yay! much better news than Part 1 :)

Rosiecat said...

Shannon, I agree! I definitely prefer to post about happy, fun things, but part of what makes this news so good is that the other grant was rejected swiftly. So it's not like I'm immune to the sting of rejection--it seems to be a recurrent theme in my life this year. Whatever doesn't kill me...makes me weep softly in the corner ;-)