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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Release Time and Other Financial Nightmares

So now that my lab has some funding and we are not going to go up in flames of financial ruin, I am coming to learn the intricacies of budgeted grants. Unlike my start-up, this money cannot be used for anything, but is dedicated to specific purposes. For example, I tried to order file folders so that we can organize papers related to the research. Unfortunately, I did not budget office supplies into my grant (apparently supplies and office supplies are not the same). So I can't use that money for folders. Instead I have to dip into my slush fund, which is a limited pool of money from my endowed chair that I am trying not to spend.

Similarly, I now need to come up with release time. For those of you unfamiliar, release time is where I pay part of my 9 month salary from my grants. I'm not sure that I'm actually being released from anything (in theory teaching, but in reality not so much). It is more like a tax. However, money budgeted as summer salary is not the same as release time, so yet again , I get to dip into my slush fund to keep the wheels greased. It is very frustrating to work within the specific confines of a budget. To a large extent money should just be money and if it is spent on stuff related to the proposal and we get papers it shouldn't matter.


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At 4:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly scientist, file folders aren't "office supplies" they are "data archiving supplies" and therefore should be taken out of your supplies budget.

(same problem with my overpriced toner, toner which cost more than the printer did oringally....)

-been there....

At 2:37 AM , Blogger Maggie May said...

It's all about funding!


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