Why (specifically) are you here?

Sep 30 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers], [Et Al]

Time is a precious resource, particularly around major deadlines for grants, manuscripts and teaching. For that reason I sometimes feel a little self-indulgent keeping up on the blog when I am facing a deadline, but the truth of the matter is that it is helpful to me. Not just in that I need an outlet sometimes for jotting my thoughts down, but because it pushes me.

I bring this up because of Tuesday's post over at Female Science Professor and the subsequent comments. FSP simply (in eight paragraphs) asked her readers how her blog (and others) help them. Many of the comments, including my own, provided typical answers about why we are likely all here - to learn about the steps ahead of us and know we are not the only ones going through some of the unique aspects of the academic ladder.

But I would like to take that just a step forward and ask readers for specific examples of how their blog reading helped them with a particular situation or allowed them to take a new direction. For me, I can say that I almost certainly would not have applied to NIH as early as I did (or maybe at all) without this community*. Be it the general granting advice to be found over at DrugMonkey's spot or just having to figure out what the difference between an R01, R15 and R21 was just to follow the conversations going on around the sciencebloggy parts, I got a start on untangling the NIH knot before I even knew I was doing it. And having a responsive community available for the questions the inevitably come up has been instrumental in this broadening of my funding scope.

So what about you, dear reader? What specific way has blog reading allowed you to do something you wouldn't have if you remained unaware of this community?

*So I'm blaming y'all for my current crushing deadline situation.

7 responses so far

  • David says:

    yes, I agree with this. As an evolutionary ecologist falling within the remit of NSF i find all this discussion of NIH to be very informative and pushing me to make a an application there.

  • rs says:

    same here. I lost my job because of abusive supervisor, but the community kept me inside mentally, and now I am back in the academe and applying for independent grants by myself. This resource is invaluable.

  • I'm just here because I have a couple of minutes to kill and figured that this was better than poking my eye out with a pencil.

  • New Asst. Prof. says:

    I'm with PiT (at the moment) - this is way better than finishing my Significance section :).

  • Alyssa says:

    Other than what PiT says, reading the blogs in the science-blogs community have made me more keenly aware of issues regarding women in the sciences. I mean, I knew it existed before, but I have become more pro-active about my actions (for example, I will suggest women researchers for invited lectures, talk openly about my own experiences, meet with a women's group on campus, etc.).

  • DJMH says:

    For research, there's my PI and colleagues. For everything else, there's Drugmonkey.

  • Pharm Sci Grad says:

    One of the (many) biggest bonuses of blog reading for me (and there's been tons of funding stuff/what does my boss do all day/survival skills info that has been eye opening) was understanding post-docs. I mean, what one could (and could NOT) expect, what one should know before they sign on the dotted line, the purpose of doing a post-doc in the biomed sciences, the kind of institution one should look for, the kind of PI one should work for and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each. It's been my job search coach via Google Reader, with a shiny awesome new post-doc secured with the least amount of insanity and angst one could expect.

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