Friday, August 25, 2006

The saga continues

Dear Patrick,

I was told that email is perhaps the best way to contact you. My wife and I are considering a relocation to the area, for her to accept a position at Rocket Central.

I am quite interested to discuss with you the possibility of some sort of affiliation with your group at Rocket U. Currently, I am a postdoc in [Field 2] at the University of Paradise. I received my PhD in [Field 1] and [Interdisciplinary Field] a year ago. I was pleased to read of your brain and humanities work, and believe it would be a good match for my interests and background.

Attached is my current CV. For more details about my research and activities, take a look at my website [URL].

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Hi Articulate, sorry for being so hard to get in touch with-it's been one of those summers (a large grant and a book project have made for an especially busy time). I would enjoy discussing the possibility of an affiliation etc., with you. My limitation at this point is that I'm a bit over-committed already in terms of my funding, so I don't have any funds in the group for positions. If you're in need of funding, you might also want to inquire with some of the other groups, such as Anton Rolio, who works on emotions and is also interested in brain-humanities links.


Great, Pat,

Thanks for the reply. I understand about busy. The life of a post-doc as you know is in fits and spurts. I will try to contact Anton Rolio as well. My principal motivation in reaching you at the moment was to ascertain what sort of welcome might exist for my work there. If nothing else, an open door might provide us some fodder for negotiating with Rocket Central. I don't know what sorts of support are available through them or the university, but it's possible there's startup funding around for spousal affiliation, which might bridge me through until I can obtain a grant or something. I've got an NEH proposal under consideration now, but I won't hear until December. Meantime, I'll be working up others as well.

Dear Anton,

Pat Crystal suggested I contact you. I'm currently a post-doc in [Field 2] at the University of Paradise where I received my PhD a year ago in [Field 1] and [Interdisciplinary Field]. My research focuses on the x and y of z. While my background and research focus is on p rather than q, there's a great deal of crossover, via the expression and comprehension of emotions, between my work and yours.

My wife has been offered a position at Rocket Central, thus I'm pursuing appropriate opportunities for me in the area. The brain and humanities research at Rocket U. makes an affiliation there quite attractive to me. I'm eager to learn what more I can about brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience. I've read the literature, but it's not the same as hands-on experience. I'd be pleased for the chance to discuss possibilities with you.

Attached is my CV. For more information about my research and activities, take a look at my research website [URL] .

One project I'm planning to get started this fall is [longitudinal study, along with brief description]. A draft proposal for the project can be found at [URL].

I look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Articulate, I think there's a lot of potential fits between your research and the research interests of people involved in humanities-brain links at Rocket U. You may also want to get in touch with Tam Suzuki, who is a faculty member in the [Not-really-up-my-alley] program, as he has broad interests along these lines as well.

I'm out of town this weekend in Southern City, but am back next week if you're around, or we could chat via phone. In general, the brain imaging research community at Rocket U. is very open and so would be welcoming to your research interests.

Dear Articulate,

I've now had a chance to look over your CV and website and discuss things with people here. Unfortunately, I don't think that I could offer you a position in my lab. There are two main reasons for this: I'm already pretty much full (both space and funding-wise), and your background does not have sufficient math, programming, and biology so that it would be quite difficult to do studies of the kind my lab is involved in (which require those background skills). Otherwise, your work indeed sounds fascinating, and I wish I had the resources to branch out to encompass it, but at this stage I do not.

With best wishes,

Meantime, the Rocket Scientist has talked with HR at RC. Their take is maybe spousal support is commonplace in academia, but they've got nothing to offer. The letter from Rolio was a bit of a downer on a rather marvelous couple days. No matter. It's not going to get me down. I am going to start my longitudinal study willy-nilly once we're settled (oh... didn't I say?, we've decided to move). I'm going to continue working up abstracts and talks for conferences. I'm going to continue to submit articles for publication. I have quite a backlog of talks and papers to re-edit and send off. And I'm going to get moving again on both the NEH proposal work, and another [Field 2] project that I started earlier this year, but haven't done much with for a few months.

Damn it! I'm here to stay, whatever it takes. And if I become an independent scholar, so be it. Get Famous! That's my motto now.


Prof. Me said...

I like how you post these email conversations. It's hard for me to read them for the first time, feeling the "this-might-actually-work" thrills that you must have felt and then the "oops, guess not" lows. I still can't help but admire how you're never deterred, how you keep finding and pursuing options and contacts. Your resourcefulness truly amazes.

How exciting, though, that you've decided to move! Now your life will be full of other very time-consuming details as you get ready to embark on another family adventure. Keep us posted on how all of that goes. I am eager to hear, especially, how you carve a place for yourself outside of the University of Paradise. Your journeys are always interesting and inspiring, AD.

ArticulateDad said...

Only, it doesn't inspire me. It depresses me. I'm just afraid, before I fix it all, I might just break. Even rollercoasters fail tragically sometimes.

Dr. MetamorPhD said...

How frustrating all of this must be for you! It must be a relief to at least know where you're moving so that you can plan.

I agree with Prof. me, you show great tenacity, and it's admirable! Hang in there! Things will surely seem more hopeful once you're settled in your new town and the academic search season gets cranked up again!