Good news/Bad news

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpg It's one of those days where it is now almost 4 pm and I have yet to get working on tomorrow morning's lecture. I'm also going to miss a self-imposed deadline to get a draft out to a collaborator. Instead, I spent the morning getting flu shots for Minnow and I and working with a student on a proposal to get a particular dataset for use on his/her thesis. There's a student-only RFP available and we're about 2/3 the way through the proposal. One of the pieces I was helping with involved contacting some other people who might be interested in having the same dataset for their own projects, and asking them to write a letter of support.

Just after lunch, when I had switched gears onto my own proposal, I got an email from one of those potentially-interested people. He said "Didn't you know? That dataset is being acquired next month and will be available for all to use a few months after that. You don't need to write your proposal at all."

That's great news. We don't have to finish the proposal and we're guaranteed that we'll get to use the (cool, sparkly, cutting-edge) dataset.

I only wish I had known about this before setting my student to work several weeks ago and spending hours of my own time in the process.

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Look at it this way, it beats a PhD student working for a year on a project which had essentially been reported in someone else's grant final report dated a year before the student entered your lab.