What I'm working on

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpgI'm not going to apologize about lack of posting over the last month or so, and I'm not going to make any promises for the future. That said, here's what I'm up to for InaDWriMo this month.

Here's what I wrote at ring-leader Dr. Brazen-Hussy's kickoff post:

  1. Finish revisions on the paper-that-won't-die (goal: November 6)
  2. Internal release time application (due November 15)
  3. NSF proposal (due ~December 1)

After one week, I haven't finished the revisions, but I'm 90% done. No question as to me getting it done this week. I've got 3 pages of first draft of the 5 page release time application. This also will be finished this week, because it has to be finished. And...I've given up on the NSF proposal.

A combination of things (less free-time this month than anticipated, re-reading one of last year's InaDWriMo posts, assessing what I could ask of collaborators) made me realize that the NSF proposal was simply an unreasonable goal for the month. At best, I'd throw together a piece of shit application, give my new collaborators inadequate time to improve it, and get terrible reviews in my first PI NSF application. So, while a 6-month delay in getting this exciting new research plan submitted is a bitter pill to swallow, there's no question that it is a good decision.

Instead, I'd like to take my reasonably available science time this month to actually make sure I am setting my new grad students down reasonable courses for their theses. Any science time left over from that, I'll devote to finishing analyses from my 2008 AGU poster (subject of a InaDWriMo goal last year). This should give me everything I need to start really writing that manuscript next time I have a chance (say, next June).

So, at the end of week one, the score stands like this:

  1. Finish revisions on the paper-that-won't-die (goal: November 6 13)
  2. Internal release time application (due November 15)
  3. NSF proposal (due ~December 1)
  4. Read around proposed grad student topics enough to ensure we're not reinventing the wheel/pursuing proven dead ends (amorphous, I know)
  5. Finish GIS work left-over from 2008 AGU poster.

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Good for you on the progress! Bummer that the NSF proposal isn't feasible, but good that you decided early on to scrap it since it really sucks to continually fail to meet unrealistic goals.

I wonder if you could start to lay some of the groundwork for that proposal now, though, since you don't want to be in the same place you're in now one month before the next deadline. Could you get yourself in a better position to execute the thing next time by doing a little bit of it now and continuing slowly in the coming months? Maybe even enlist the new students to help so they can see how to develop a research plan?