Friday, February 16, 2007

What I need to hear

This, from a friend of mine, PhD in Psychology, whom I knew in grad school, and who happens to be currently a post-doc in cognitive neuroscience in the Rocket City area:
Hi Articulate,

I wish you best of luck at the conferences! I'm sure you'll find a good path for you. I'm impressed with your enthusiasm and passion for the fields that you are interested in. That's one of the things I'd love to talk to you about when next we meet, because I could use some inspiration from you to pursue the direction that I'm most interested in despite the pull into other directions.

The other thing I wanted to tell you is that if you don't get a post doc doing brain imaging or what not, that doesn't mean you won't be able to incorporate neuroscience in your future inquiries, and such a post doc may not be the best training for you. Mainly because in a post doc like that, much of your time will be consumed with working out the technical aspects (constant programming, figuring out what to do with noisy signals, etc), but a few years will still not make you an expert (without the computational background, which really math and engineering kinds have - I don't even have enough of it). So eventually when you are leading projects that pursue the research questions you are excited about, I think you could hire people with technical backgrounds, who will be happy to take your ideas and work out the technical details. Well, just a thought.

That's the conclusion I've been coming to myself. But it's really good to have it validated by someone in a position to know, someone I admire and respect, who knows both my work and interests, and that side of the table as well.

1 comment:

apparently said...

Your friend obviously knows more about your training and research goals, so take this with a grain of salt. But, I might just disagree depending on your plans. You will need a grant to include cognitive neuroscience in your research. You will not get a grant unless you have either a well-established collaborator or your own pubs/training (which could follow from a postdoc). Sure you could hire someone, but that again requires a grant. You just might want to reconsider.