Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bionanofailure

(Warning: This post conatains excessive whining.)

Tomorrow morning I have to trudge up the stairs to my boss's office and tell him that I can't make my fellowship proposal work. I have to tell him that after racking my brain almost constantly for weeks and after one flat-out rejection and numerous unanswered emails, no one wants to collaborate with me. I've read dozens of papers and not one indicated that the composite material I want to study is useful for anything biomedically related. The worst is that I was given a second chance to make my research fit in better with the fellowship's theme and I have absolutely nothing to give them. My boss has pinned his hopes on me getting me this fellowship so that I wouldn't have to depend on him for funding for two years. He can't afford to fund everyone in the lab anymore because science funding has been butchered. The division of the army that funded all of the work for my Master's thesis doesn't exist anymore. The elimination of this branch of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was part of a major shift in government spending away from materials and device technology and towards homeland security which mainly consists of weaponry and anti-terroism research. Yee haw. Thanks, Dubyah.
Anyway, a big part of why this troubles me so much is that I have failed at something that my advisor specifically tries to instill in all his students: market yourself. Dr. Hari thinks that being a scientist is 1/3 science, 1/3 teaching and 1/3 advertising. At conferences, meetings, poster sessions sell your product, that is, your research. If you aren't confident and excited about what you do, why should anyone else be? You are given a few sentences to capture and hold their interest. Writing proposals to make your research fit in with a pre-specified goal is an art, one that I thought I had a talent for. The way I see it, I have three options. Well four.
1. I could turn in nothing.
2. I could turn in the same proposal I did the first time with some of the sentences slightly changed to make it "revised" in the most literal sense of the word.
3. I could start over and figure out a completely new system to study. Set my research back at least a year, betray my goal of being a materials physicst all for the extra money and completely buy into the bionanobullshit.
4. Move to Key West and open a Tikki Bar.
Any suggestions?

12 comments:

Sylvia said...

I still think you will find a collaborator for your project out there. It is just going to take more time and more rejections. Hang in there. I believe in you.

mom said...

if you move to key west and open a tiki bar, can i work for you? i know i'm 47 but i bet i could still pull off a grass skirt.

magnetbabe said...

Thanks Sylvia! Mom, I KNOW you could pull off a grass skirt. And better than I could!

salesstud69 said...

Why do you complain so much?

This blog needs more stories about Dean. He seems like a smart, handsome, innovative young man. A true american treasure and a wonderful son and future son in law. Based on your blog, if it weren't for him you would be lost.

Quit being so concetied and give the public what they want. MORE DEAN!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

salestud69? there's a mature boyfriend for you

magnetbabe said...

salesstud69-
Someone should start a blog about Dean. Though he is a WONDERFUL, caring, patient, loving boyfriend and father to my kitties, this is my blog. ABOUT ME. If you admire and worship him so much, it would be great if you would start a blog about Dean's adventures!

bubba69 said...

i agree with salesstud69
we need more about dean
and less liberal whining-
jeb bush in '08

magnetbabe said...

salesstud69 and bubba69- If you don't behave yourselves I will close this blog for comments. Then you will have ruined it for everybody.
Hillary in '08!

Anonymous said...

If you and your Mom open a tikki bar can I come down and help Dean move the cars from Tampa to Key West? Of course I'd be expecting a nice mild drink like a "hurricane" when we get there. I think I'm still a bit hungover from the last time I helped him!!

salesstud69 said...

dubba69: you are dead on. Jeb in 08. Should be another nice 8 year run of having a Bush in the White House. I hope you have given up on the idea of a clean enviorment and cheap gas prices.

Magnetbabe: of course you would shut down comments. According to Fox News the Liberal media is constantly trying to keep conservative views oppressed.

dancingo4 said...

I agree with your mom about opening a bar in Key West. I'm all for working a few hours on the beach for you. Sounds especially lovely with this weather in MN these days. Although I know you will find a way to make your project work. You are so amazingly talented and smart. I have complete faith in you!
Maybe you can ask for a little more time and with your journey to the homeland this week will help you think of another option or find a partner. You know I dont really understand your work but I think we girls could help you think of some great ideas...especially as the girls night goes on!!

magnetbabe said...

Thanks, dancingo4! You will be first on my list of applicants. You and my mom can be hula girl waitresses out on the beach. I won't even mind if you make some drinks for yourself...