Monday, November 5, 2012

Who gets to worry most?

For some reason the past week has been full of pessimistic (or realistic) remarks about how bleak the funding situation is. First, my PI was announcing at lab meeting that the two big R01s that the lab has will end next year (that was not new to me, but it was to some of the lab) and that it’s unsure whether they will be successfully renewed. Then, he told us about how if the US government has not determined a new budget in Januari, NIH may cut, even in existing grants. I didn’t know how that worked, so I asked DrugMonkey on twitter, who explained that indeed the NIH can do that, but that Obama promised it wouldn’t happen (if I have time I will embed those tweets later).

Same day, I got an email from the Society for Neuroscience asking their members to oppose sequestration (and they have a webinar about what it is too). And then today we had a seminar speaker who at lunch started to talk about how the current environment is not very good for young scientists in terms of money. Oh and a home country paper talked about how some of the grants from the home country’s scientific organization only have a 5% funding rate….

So at lab meeting we were talking about who gets to worry most. One of my post-doc colleagues has a husband with a good job, so she is last in the line of worrying about her job. I come next, because Dr. BrownEyes and I both have jobs, but they’re both in science. And the one who gets to worry most is my post-doc colleague who is single. For now, this is how I approach this:


  1. thanks for sharing.

  2. Ugh, I'm sorry about this. When I was in grad school eons ago (15 years-ish) the same conversations were happening. So maybe it's just an ongoing problem and not particularly more bleak now? Also, when you get a bunch of people talking about a bad situation, it tends to multiply and get even worse and more depressing, IME.

    So I think it's ok to keep your head in the sand and keep plugging away at your work and looking out for good opportunities. Good luck to you!