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.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Burn Out

I realize now that I made a bit of a mistake this quarter. Since I have teaching release, I have really focused on writing proposals (6 since July and counting!). I feel that these proposals are good and that I had adequate time to write them, but this has come at the expense of my students. In the summer, I only worked on one proposal (of course this was my CAREER proposal, an important one). I spent a lot more time in the lab mentoring students and we really produced data. I had hoped that the lab would continue on its own momentum in fall, but that didn't really happen.

Obviously students have class and that is a limiting factor in productivity. But I noticed a decline in the productivity of my postdocs as well. It has been especially hard for the undergraduates (we have 7 now) who really require oversight. To be honest, virtually nothing has been accomplished since mid-Sept. So I am resolving to get back on the horse and push out some data and papers. We have three projects that are reasonably close to publication and with some oversight I think we can get them out the door in the next 6 months. These will be our first "lab" publications that don't contain any of my postdoc work so they are important. And above all I am going to take a break (maybe get my nails done).


At 12:24 PM , Blogger B said...

Being aware of the lab balance is the first step. As a graduate student our lab has gone through several ebbs and flows like that, but we (the grad. students) have learned what to do when the PI is writing and is virtually gone. Hopefully your lab will be able to do that as well over time.

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