junekk at aol.com
Mon Mar 27 08:21:40 EST 1995
Sue (susan_forsburg at qm.salk.edu) wrote:
<Also, this style of science is a reflection of the very competitive
nature of the profession now. Funding is tight, therefore we all want to
be first to get the result/impressive publication/get the
grant/keep our jobs. And, the perception that someone
else --a competitor-- may be willing to sacrifice everything outisde
the lab to beat us means that we feel driven to do the same
just to keep up. NATURE had an editorial a few months ago
that explicitly compared the US system
to child labour: "marvelously efficient, yet marvelously cruel.">
For me, this is the greatest truth. Governmental funding IS very
difficult to get at all levels, from the newest post-doctoral fellow to
the most established principal investigators.
Personally, I work from 6a.m. to about 6-7 p.m. at night. In addition to
commuting 2h a day, this leaves little time for any personal life during
the week. My husband, although not in science, has a job that also
demands these hours.
Unfortunately, trying to get an NRSA post-doctoral fellowship has not met
with very much success despite solid preliminary data. This is not a
unique event according to many of my colleagues.
Staying afloat tends to be an on-going, roller-coaster event. So the
choices are becoming: do I shuttle from one post-doc to the next, trying
to get funding for the important projects I become involved in ? Many I
know are opting to go to a different field (medicine, law, industry) where
they might apply some of there well-earned knowledge.
Bottom line is: I truly love research, despite it's pitfalls and low
salary and political maneuverings... As many of us can attest to, the
incredible highs that you may experience in research are unparalelled!
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