Absentee BlogLord

Mar 23 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

(cross posted)

Damn it's been a while.

This is a nothing post, just a place holder to let my Reader know I haven't fallen down a hole somewhere.

I split up with my fiance, which sucks, but is probably a good thing in the long run. We had a lot of self-fulfilling, overindulgent bad habits that need to be addressed and we were getting nowhere trying to do it together. I met again last night to tell her I need to not see her for a while, for despite being separated we were still hanging out most weekends. It was a thoroughly depressing talk and I got the feeling that she doesn't really get it. We'll see. I have to have my space if I'm going to fix things. Then maybe there'll time to fix us, but I can't and won't make promises.

Our big CTSA grant isn't going to get funded and we're out of submissions so on or before June 1st my institute will cease to exist. This has obviously been massively stressful, because no only is it my job on the line, but those of "my staff". Four young(ish) men who rely on me to keep the money coming in. Two had babies (or rather, their wives did) recently too, so there's an added pressure bonus.

I've been offered a position as Director of Faculty Development within our Office of Academic Affairs. This would pave the way to a possible Deanship in a few years, or even a Vice-Chancellorship. But... as much as I've enjoyed doing some of the work they've given me to test/train me, it's when I sit down to work with our faculty collaborators on their clincial trials that I really feel the love for my job.

I am a scientist at heart and I love the 'doing' of science, albeit vicariously. However, it's scary thinking about turning down a promotion and payrise to stay where I am, on soft money in an Institute that soon ceases to exist. My Unit will be kept around - we actually generate a portion of our running costs and it will get better as we pick up more projects. But... we're also getting a new Vice Chancellor for Research soon and will s/he want to keep me/us around? Will she see the value in providing core biomedical and clincial informatics support? I hope so - my University is looking to recruit up to 70 new MD/MD-PhD clincial scientists over the next five years and my Unit provides an essential service (secure, centralised, professional and cost effective data management support). But, who knows what the new VC will judge her priorities to be?

So... a lot on my mind right now. It's hard to write. I'm reading your blogs, but not commenting right now either. I'll be back soon, hopefully with happier and better news. Or at least a story involving something humorous. This place has been a bit morose recently....

5 responses so far

  • Dr. O says:

    Awe, been thinkin' about you - sending lots of ((((hugs)))). I hate those times when *everything* is up in the air. I hope you find some resolution on the job front soon. On the personal side of things - sometimes crappy shit has to happen to make room for something better.

  • CoR says:

    Can you outsource your unit to make ends meet?

  • WhizBANG! says:

    As someone reinventing herself in the faculty development realm, I obviously am biased in that direction. Part of development are research skills. If a CTSA I not imminent, fac dev can be a great way to go.

  • Damn dude, best of luck man. Let me know if you need another care package in the mail.

  • brooksphd says:

    @Dr.O: cheers 🙂 I feel like this is the years of lean, after years of plenty. I'm sure it'll all be OK, but I'm too present focused to relax...

    @CoR: Not really. A while back I talked to our tech transfer group about going to independent non-profit statuts, but it wasn't a feasible option. Also, cos we used NIH money to build our database we can't sell it. We released an open source version (http://sourceforge.net/search/?q=PRIME_OPENSOURCE) that is getting some interest, but we're funded internally via State dollars and "funding reciprocity".

    @Whizbang: I've been meaning to email you to talk about that actually.

    @GR: Cheers bro - I still owe you for the last one 🙂