Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What is it like to be a new PI?

I found this blog post from a recent Harvard Prof who discusses the realities of becoming a PI. A few highlights:

-"I guess that I spent about 40% of my time chasing after funding"
-"These days, funding rates are abysmal: less than 10% for some NSF programs, and the decision on a proposal is often arbitrary. "
-"the biggest predictor of success as a junior faculty member is how much of your life you are willing to sacrifice"
-"Most of my days are spent in an endless string of meetings"

Things may seem bleak but there is a silver lining:
"The main reason to be an academic is not to crank out papers or to raise a ton of money but to train the next generation. I love working with students and this is absolutely the best part of my job."

(H/T Ben Ferguson)