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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Coming home to roost...

Wow! I'm halfway through my mass "please give me a job" emailshot and thus far I have had
7 replies asking for references from lab heads with (unadvertised!) vacancies on fully-funded grants plus a further 4 who would like to employ me but don't have the funding for a new postdoc. If I can find a personal fellowship to cover my wages then they'll be interested in talking again. Suddenly, taking the time to put all of the PIs' details into a colour-coded spreadsheet doesn't look like the colossal waste of time it felt like when I was doing it...

It looks unlikely that I will get a personal fellowship - my disastrous last postdoc has pretty much killed that - nevertheless, it's put a much needed spring in my step. I also got 2 replies from PIs who would love to employ me but are busy tidying their desks one last time before taking up fishing and spoiling the grandkids.

My biggest worry at the moment is that my poor referees have been beseiged by almost a dozen requests in the past week. I have suggested that maybe my references could be deposited with the group secretary and I'll direct all inquiries to her. That way, the confidentiality of the reference can be maintained (and I won't be tempted to "edit" them, ahem).

I'm going to continue with the mailshot, but I have gone from depression last week (my first few replies were all negative) to mild (though cynically tempered) euphoria.

Since most of these labs are in North America, I may be faced with a travelling salesman problem over the summer, as I try and figure out how to visit as many labs as possible in as short a time as possible without making it too obvious that I am flying from lab to lab... could be tricky if I submit domestic US airline tickets when claiming back expenses...

Even better, this might stop Mum and Dad's increasing nagging when I phone at the weekend...



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