Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waiting for October

Ah, the doldrums of the end of summer. It's been a busy summer (not that I've been reporting on my activity), and classes are starting next Monday (not that I've noticed, seeing as how I am done with classes). The next big thing up on my schedule is the qualifying exam in October.

So what have I been doing all summer? I've been working in the lab. My big news for the summer is that my lab is applying for the MRI-R2 grant program that NSF is funding as part of the stimulus package. We are submitting Tulane's instrumentation development proposal. My project for the last year or so has been to develop a new instrument for our lab, so it was very convienient for us that this instrumentation development grant came along when it did. NSF grants are always very competitive, so it's impossible to get too optimistic, but we are about as hopeful as we can be. My advisor's suspicion is that a lot of the submissions will be wish-lists, and thus of lower quality than usual. In addition, we suspect that most of the grants in this competition will be for instrumentation acquisition, rather than for instrumentation development. So there's likely to be less competition development grants like ours. That's the hope anyway.

What makes this all really exciting is that this grant would fund me fully for three years, and that I will be the only full-time person on the grant. And there will be a lot of interesting things for me to work on.

I will say more about the actual content of this project in a few days.

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