Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Unfortunately, things from my last post did not fall my way...as the chair put it. The nomination will go the the individual in the other department. The difference appeared to be the fact that he/she had done 2 postdocs (as is normal for that field) and I have done only one (as is normal for my field). So there really was no way for me to compete. I can't possibly have the same number of pubs given 1/2 the experience. The good news is that everyone liked my proposal, so at least I can write.

Things for me will get pretty crazy in the next few weeks so my posts might be a little erratic. I am moving in 2 weeks. Just thinking about it almost turns my stomach. I have so much to do at work, at home, everywhere. The worst part is that my final experiments are finishing up and are only sort of working. I have just enough data for one pretty good paper, and one questionable paper. Of course, I say this without having analyzed everything yet so maybe the outlook will improve. It is very unfortunate though. If the data for the 2nd paper doesn't start looking better, it will not be very strong, and there is no time for additional experiments. I hate to get nothing out of it, but statistics don't lie. If my analysis doesn't improve, I will be left with a very weak arguement. Oh well, bad break I guess.

On the otherhand, I am soooo excited about packing up and heading out to R1U. I cannot wait to finally become an Asst. Prof! I have so many ideas for research, teaching, and service I can't wait to get started. Of course, I imagine this mirrors the first year just give me a thesis so I can get started enthusiasm. I am sure I have much to learn.

As I am wrapping up things here, after two years , I finally understand the value of my postdoc. I considered going straight to academics (which is considered possible but a generally bad idea in my field), but decided in the end to do a postdoc. I am so glad that I did. The postdoc has allowed me to refine my research ideas, to gain new experience, and most importantly, to build confidence in my skills as a researcher and proposal writer. I now feel that I can stand next to another faculty member and hold my own.

Well, wish me luck!!!


At 9:54 PM , Blogger ScienceWoman said...

Good luck. I am glad your post-doc was overall a good experience, despite the unlucky experimental breaks. It makes me feel better about my plans.

At 12:08 AM , Anonymous Sylvia Dechant said...

So, what happened after it? I hope everything went well. It is always hard compete to people who are most superior to us, but it shouldn’t stop you from doing your best. Rather treat it as a challenge that would help with thesis writing. Anyway, how did you been?


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