>fun times in Bethesda

May 07 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

>I just got back from a little meeting at NIH for new investigators. The whole idea is that the newly funded investigators would get a chance to network with POs and such, hopefully improving our subsequent success in securing continued funding. I think that this was a reasonable idea, and it was a fun little meeting with only 17 investigators. There was a lot of talking about paylines (8%!) and next year's budget (not good), which was a little depressing. This is certainly not going to make starting up a new lab any easier. But really, two things were most obvious at this meeting: First, there should always be liquor provided at scientific meetings. Especially "networking" events. Second, based on the sample at this meeting, most people give bad talks. Apparently, the average NIH investigator uses about 30 slides for a 15 min talk. Even after being told that this should be a "big picture" presentation of your work, and the instructions include the phrase "no data" at least 3 times. Seriously, people. What the fuck about "no data" makes you feel like you should put 25 data slides into a 15 m talk? These were people with R01s!

on a totally unrelated note, I just saw a fly escape a spider web outside my window, only to fly right into the glass and fall down. I giggled a little. Now, I'm wondering if that had some symbolic meaning...

2 responses so far

  • tideliar says:

    >Some paylines are better than others, and the budget has been flat for a while. It is certainly a *very* scary time to venture out into NewPILand though...

  • Gerty-Z says:

    >It is scary to start out now, but I an still try to feel hopeful that things will improve over the next couple of years. I feel worse for those that started 2-3 years ago--they are running out of start-up money at the worst possible time.

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