Burn baby, burn

Nov 18 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

Some problems just cost a lot to figure out. That's my moral of the week. I was trying to find less expensive ways to chip away at one of our research questions so that we could produce enough data to qualify as "preliminary" in a proposal and get some Fed funds to do the financial heavy lifting. We tried several different ways to get at the problem, all of which provided tantalizing clues. As a result, we have lots of suggestive data, but no smoking gun. With the January NSF deadline looming, it was time to make a call - do we step up our efforts to chip away at the question with hammer and chisel or do we get serious and blow some real cash for the experimental equivalent of some C4?

I decided it's time we get this shit done. There have been continued delays with the "free" data and I'm tired of taking baby steps on this project. I've talked to too many people about it at this point, and if we're right, this would be a project worth scooping. Plus, we're not going to get it funded until we show more results and our other ideas about how we get an answer all have the potential of still being inconclusive, even if they work.

Nope, time to burn some cash. Your safety goggles are on the right and you may want to take another step back - this fire is going to be hot.

5 responses so far

  • Professor in Training says:

    Burn away! Your/our grants are up against established PIs who have already been given cash to burn and if you feel as though this will be your ticket to substantial funding you'll have to spend money to make money. So much for simply having supercool ideas.

  • Odyssey says:

    This is what start up funds are for. PiT is right. Your funded competitors already have the money to burn. To compete you have burn some too.

  • Prof-like Substance says:

    I'm not saying that we weren't spending money before, because we have been. The difference is that this is a LOT of money all at once on something that is either going to work or not. It's a lot riskier, but the payoff could be big.

  • tideliar says:

    GOOD SHOW! Gotta spend $ to make $

  • Anonymous says:

    I spend more in reagents in some months now than I did to fund my entire dissertation. Go for it.

Leave a Reply