Who are you, what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me? VII: "You know nothing Jon Snow"

June 9, 2014

I have an extra special reason for this annual event, so hook me up, Dear Reader. (I might even explain why in a few weeks.)

This post is a meme for you, the readers of this blog, to take more than the usual spotlight you enjoy here in the comments. This is especially for you lurkers (in case you didn’t notice, the email field can be filled with nonsense like dev@null.com). For the the veterans, yes I know who you are but feel free to update us on any changes in the way you interact with the blog…especially if you’ve lost touch with the content, been dismayed or just decided that I’m not who you thought at first, ideas-wise.

1) Tell me about yourself. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to meatier, more academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed?

2) Have you told anyone else about this blog? Why? Were they folks who are not a scientist?. Ever sent anything to family members or groups of friends who don’t understand your career?

3) How did you find us and how do you regularly follow us? through Twitter, Facebook and/or other beyond-RSS mechanisms?

If you blog, and I know many of you do, go ahead and post your own version of this. Take the time to get to know your audience and ask the lurkers to come out and play. You’ll be most pleasantly surprised how many take you up on it.

[This is all the fault of Ed Yong. Head over the the last iteration to see all the gory details and links to prior comment threads.]

104 Responses to “Who are you, what are you doing here and why do you keep looking at me? VII: "You know nothing Jon Snow"”

  1. kevin. Says:

    1. starting a Neuroscience Assistant Professorship in two months at an R1 after one postdoc that started way back in Dec. 2006. I am sure my lurking helped me sound like a fellow colleague bemoaning the funding universe (soft money, hard money, indirects, pay lines, etc.) thereby helping me get the job. I love the inside world of getting a job, grants, how to keep them, LPU, glamour-mags, and selling yourself. I call it Glengarry Glen Ross for scientists.

    2. Surely yes, PhD students and fellow postdocs. For reasons above. No family that I can recall.

    3. Probably just some blog aggregator-type things, although I was forwarded chalk-talk content from the chair of the search committee that eventually ‘recruited’ me. I hate RSS, Twitter, and FB. I just click on the bookmark and hope I’m reading the correctly updated blog.


  2. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Put that coffee down!


  3. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Third prize is…you’re fired!


  4. drugmonkey Says:

    The fact that search committees are suggesting their short list read PP on the chalk talk is awesome.


  5. Industry Scientist Says:

    1) Scientist at medium-sized biotech, though I think I first started reading occasionally when I was doing my (academic) postdoc, mostly for career advice. Have stayed because I like keeping up with academic goings-on. While I keep in touch with some academic colleagues, I also increasingly find we have less and less to discuss – industry is terrific, but isolated outside of your own company in the absence of a CDA.

    2) Maybe sent an occasional link?

    3) Don’t remember how I first found you – probably through another link (maybe from Mike the Mad Biologist)? Only follow through the blog.


  6. Dave Says:

    1) Soft-money Asst Prof, seriously thinking about looking for a TT job, but like where I am, the city I’m in, and the research I’m doing. I came here after my first K app got dinged, and I was looking for advice that was….well….modern. I’m certain this blog was essentially in me eventually getting that grant and starting my ‘career’. What was the key piece of advice? Georgia font, of course!!!!

    2) No, never.

    3) I do stalk twitts, but don’t use Twitter or Facebook. I check in regularly to see what’s new.


  7. Crystal Voodoo Says:

    1) Currently a postdoc at a fancy pants R01 university (soon to be ex-postdoc) and a science writing editor. I’m got drawn here for the funding insights and stayed for the amusing discourse.

    2) Most of my referrals were to other science types.

    3) I think it was a blog link rabbit hole. I follow through my RSS. I think I’ve followed you on Twitter, but I haven’t even looked at my Twitter in months.


  8. Evelyn Says:

    1) Just recently switched from the (“oh, horror”) grant writer position to a more palatable scientific manager position – both at major research universities. I am a grant addict so I regularly read everything and anything on grants hence – I come here.

    2) Whenever I give a grant talk, I finish with “notable blogs” – yours is among a handful on there. So, yes, I have told quite a few people about this blog (not family or non-science people).

    3) Isis. Been a reader of hers since my graduate school days and at some point or another, she mentioned you, and I followed, and well, I stayed. I don’t do social media so this is it for me.


  9. strong silent type Says:

    1) I’m an investor in biomedical startups and generally interested in making science more effective. My background is in computer science and linguistics but I read broadly. When I was getting started, a friend recommended your blog to learn the upside of the status quo structure of science. I stay because I do learn that from you.

    2) Yes, I’ve told co-workers, folks in bioscience, and startup founders. I don’t think I’ve sent a post to friends who aren’t interested in what I’m interested in but maybe I have!

    3) RSS.


  10. datahound Says:

    (1) I am a chemist/biochemist/biophysicist/administrator who has been in academia and government (and back) over nearly 30 years. I read a wide range of science policy-related materials and find your blog and others to be useful windows into what some of those in the science trenches are thinking about and feeling.

    (2) I have told many people about the blog, most in science, but a few outside including family members.

    (3) I discovered your blog when I was Director of NIGMS and found it to provide useful insights into what a slice of the scientific community was worrying about. I found it helped me get outside the NIH bubble a bit and also provided a useful data point as we started our own blog at NIGMS and new Datahound at Scientopia. I follow you through multiple channels including Twitter.


  11. dr24hours Says:

    (1) I’m a healthcare researcher and PI at a Major East Coast Medical Center. I came to become part of the online science community. I stayed because I love you, deeply and completely.

    (2) I’ve linked to you regularly.

    (3) I don’t recall. I feel like you found and blogrolled me. But I could be wrong.


  12. ViroProf Says:

    1) I am a soft-money Asst Prof starting my 4th year at a state University in flyover country. I’m interested in virology, biochemistry, and drug development. I come to your blog because my uni has no real mentorship for soft-money faculty and pretty much leaves it to us to sink or swim, so since my livelihood depends on getting funded I needed to find information about how to actually write a good proposal. I find the grantsmanship aspect of this blog very helpful (Georgia is a sexy, sexy font and I love Author Date) and it helps me understand the politics of academia and NIH funding in a safe and nurturing environment that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. I’m not a naturally political animal, so the information I’ve found in your blog has helped me fake it and make me seem more sophisticated at faculty meetings than I actually am.

    2) I’ve told some of my students about your blog and mentioned it to some of my colleagues. I haven’t told any family members because I’m the first college grad from my family and their redneck level of understanding of what I do is that I work on a germ.

    3) I can’t remember how I found your blog. Reading twitter feeds gives me a headache, so I usually just google Drugmonkey.


  13. doctor chick Says:

    1) I’m a 5th year post-doc (dev bio) at an R1, about to start a TT position at a small teaching-focused college. I’ve really appreciated all the insights into the behind-the-scenes of being a professor; none of my mentors had opened the curtain back in the same way. The content, tone, and humor have kept me coming back!

    2) I’ve definitely shared specific postings, both science-y and otherwise, with family!

    3) I bumbled over here from FSP and check in regularly. I do a lot of experiments with 5-minute incubations that are perfect for blog reading!


  14. Odyssey Says:

    1) Hoary old(ish) grey bread at Big State U. Chemist/biophysicist. I’m here for the grant and academia stuff, FWDAOTI lessons, and free beer.

    2) I’ve told a few of the junior faculty about your blog. Some of whom are no longer junior.

    3) I don’t remember how I found your blog. I do know you blogrolled me.


  15. AA Says:

    1) Grad student, 4th year, considering TT path. I like the content, it’s unique because it talks about the strategy/tactics behind everything academia from a “grassroots” perspective, as well as stuff that would be “awkward” to talk about to a junior student, like “Hey, for group meeting today, let’s discuss about LPU strategies, the pros and the cons”. I’m working for big-superstar in my field, so I’m kind of insulated from reality (somewhat), so the reality check here is good for me.

    2) No, but honestly I would make it “required reading” for all students/postdoc who want to go to the TT path. The problem is, I think the content would scare many away from the ivory tower. Have to keep up the ponzi scheme you know…

    3) I think it came off a link from a more mainstream science news, DM blog is mention in a number of Science/Nature news article. I just look at the webpage for updates, I don’t do twitts or all that shit.


  16. Doctor PMS Says:

    1) I am a South-American neuroscientist, getting into my 7th year postdoc at R1 institution in the US. Applied for a couple of jobs last year, getting disappointed with academia and the job market. Going to apply again for TT jobs this year, but if our grant is not renewed I may need to apply for everything (industry, teaching, TT or even another PD). I stay here (and on twitter) because I can read about what’s really going on in the science world, without veils and masks.

    2) Yes. Mainly on twitter but also for some science friends outside twitter.

    3) I found your blog on twitter. Since then I follow your blog and twitter account.


  17. AcademicLurker Says:

    Tenured PI at an East coast R1. I started reading here when I was a wet behind the ears beginning assistant Prof. in the Midwest. I found the site because I was a regular reader of YFS, and she had a post slamming DM’s reponse to one of her posts about the relative contributions of psotdocs vs PIs.

    I keep reading for the grantsmanship stuff. That and the ongoing “Glamormagz suck! No low IF journals suck!” disputes…


  18. Sara Says:

    (1) “Late-stage” computational postdoc (year 4), most likely to go on the job market in the next year. This and the other Scientopia blogs and twitter are a huge resource for grant information and to get some insight into PI life. Only now do I have friends that are becoming PIs, so its hard to get any real-life knowledge because PIs don’t like to share their secrets, or don’t have time to.

    (2) I talk a bit about it, but people still think I’m consulting tarot cards when I talk about ‘what the blogs say’. Then again, my life as a postdoc is pretty insular as I’m cramming to get my work done before my timer goes off (5 years) and have a family that distracts me from networking more.

    (3) Scientopia probably? I don’t really remember.


  19. The fact that search committees are suggesting their short list read PP on the chalk talk is awesome.

    Where are you hearing this?


  20. mytchondria Says:

    1) Soft money TT science chick bolstered by endowment which is sometimes a blessing….sometimes a cluster fuckke. Very important MRU in the South.

    2) I recommend the blogge to friends, but not to noobs. It is a bit odd to have to explain psueds and who is a tenure track academic investigator vs someone who once got a 25K grant from their mom’s foundation and now spews shitte advice. O_o

    3) I still feel like I haven’t figured out which blogges to read. I’m sure I’m missing a lot of good content.


  21. dr24hours Says:


    What does soft money TT mean? I thought the whole point of TT was hard money. I’m confused.


  22. AcademicLurker Says:

    What does soft money TT mean? Trouble…

    More seriously, it means that while you have tenure, you’re still expected to cover most/all of your salary from grants. At some institutions they will cover you when you lose funding, at others you’re SOL.


  23. drugmonkey Says:

    Where are you hearing this?

    Really, PP?

    What does soft money TT mean? I thought the whole point of TT was hard money. I’m confused.

    Absolutely not. TT stands for Tenure Track. I.e., if your institution has your job category as one that issues “tenure”, then you are TT.

    Soft-money refers to the source of your own personal salary. To the extent that your institution requires you to generate that through external support mechanisms, you are on soft money.

    The concepts are orthogonal.


  24. drugmonkey Says:

    3) I still feel like I haven’t figured out which blogges to read. I’m sure I’m missing a lot of good content.

    Me too, birdy, me too.


  25. rxnm Says:

    1) Wrapping up first year on TT at a research university. Here for the career, glamdouchery, & grants talk, though now I am outside the NIH system so some of the inside baseball is lost on me. I had a sheep brain in a jar and a zoology coloring book as a child, if that counts as a background in science. I was a disastrous undergrad and “aimless” would be a generous description of my 20s. Toward the end of grad school, I realized with great frustration that “look at this cool shit I saw under the microscope” is not normally sufficient for a paper unless you see ivy on brick outside your window. So I relocated for a postdoc and started to learn how to talk the talk, and I was able to publish some other cool shit I saw under the microscope but this time it was Much Important #1 Good Work Science. I have no clue why, but I had accumulated enough experience to learn that it has has fuck all to do with what’s in the papers. I started learning about how science careers work from this and other blogs, followed the advice I found, and eventually, ta-da: job. Still not sure what science is all about. p values maybe? humiliation? Whatever…I can afford to eat in restaurants again.

    2) Hmm…because I have identical rants IRL as I leave on my blog and in the comments of other blogs, I tend not to discuss them.

    3) If I type “sci…” into the Chrome bar it autofills this internet site. Otherwise, link from twits. Twitter has wrecked my blog reading. And blogging.


  26. Dave Says:

    More seriously, it means that while you have tenure, you’re still expected to cover most/all of your salary from grants. At some institutions they will cover you when you lose funding, at others you’re SOL.

    Yep. This is exactly how my place operates. They will basically give tenure if you ask for it and have funding to pay your salary, but will kick you out the minute you lose the ability to pay yourself. They may give you a year to recover, but that depends largely on your personal relationships with The Admin from my observations. Kind of makes a mockery of the tenure system to be honest, and I’m sure there are some contractual/legal issues here, but these days The Admin just cite ‘financial exigency’ and call it good. This practice has made it easy to clean house over the last few years, for better or worse.


  27. SidVic Says:

    Great. Another reason for PP to have inflated ego.

    1 Tenured PI at small medical school. Hunkered down, hoping to keep operation running. Recently, can’t catch break on grant application to save my life. I bailed on non-tenured PI job at R1, in anticipation of hard times. Maybe self-fulfilling, but hey, I’m on hard money so can’t complain.

    2 I teach a lecture in graduate course for science writing. I showed students DM site. Basically told them that they better start thinking about careers strategically, or they won’t have chance in hell. I’m big fan of blogs and follow disparate authors – diplomats (diplomad 2.0), politics (powerline) and even a orange grower in florida. I believe we are living through true revolution in how information is conveyed.

    3 Not sure, but believe i found DM during period of writing first RO1 (wow has it really been that long ago). Became a NIHologist in short period. I really appreciate the specific advice regarding review mechanics. I also liked writeedit, fsp and yfs. FSP and yfs in particular gave me different viewpoints. I am delighted that DM has become increasingly influential over the years. when i first started reading it was sorta like a half-assed diary that me and two other guys were reading.


  28. Dr. Noncoding Arenay Says:

    1) Third year postdoc (soon to enter fourth year) at a U.S. National Lab. My work focuses on neuroscience and RNA biology. I love reading posts on the latest issues and discussions in academia, particularly those relating to the TT job market, grantsmithing and publishing.

    2) Yes, mentioned the blogs in social interactions at conferences and also to colleagues and friends who are interested in research.

    3) I’m pretty sure I found Scientopia blogs through PiT’s blog a couple of years ago. I think at that time I was researching the tenure-track to understand more about it.


  29. Dr. Noncoding Arenay Says:

    Oh and I should mention that I have learned a shit load from these blogs! Thank you! I think that after reading these blogs I have been able to develop a much better strategic outlook (and career development plan) aiming for the TT. I remember when I first discovered these blogs I binge read them over a few late evenings….at times they were more interesting than watching 24.


  30. thorazine Says:

    1. I’m an American PI at a well-regarded European university. I come here for the discussions on grantsmanship, science careerism, student mentoring. Partly, I read these as a substitute for local mentorship (some of the granting advice is very NIH-specific but some of it is really easily generalizable to other systems); partly, I read them because I’m interested in the policy of science funding & how it affects the actual scientific enterprise, and your blog and your commenters are an interesting view of NIH-funded academia; partly, I read them for the fascination of the slow-moving American science funding apocalypse.

    2. No, not really.

    3. I have an RSS feed. I am twitter-negative.


  31. Dr Becca Says:

    1. Wrapping up 3rd year as a TT assistant professor in neuroscience. When it comes to “academic fare,” ain’t nothing meatier than this blog, DM, and everyone here knows that’s the truth. Far and away the most useful, interesting, and hilarious discussions of the academic world anywhere OTI, and I doubt I’d have my job had I not stumbled onto you nearly 5 years ago.

    2. In an official capacity, I told a group of recent F32/K99 awardees at an NICHD career workshop about you in 2012. In response, they compared me to Santa Claus.

    3. Shortly after I started my own blog, I decided to poke around and see who else was out there. Quickly found ScienceBlogs, and then you.


  32. DrugMonkey Says:

    Oh never fear SidVic, it’s still a “half-assed diary”.


  33. Deb Says:

    1. Scientific editor at a private R1 institution in the Midwest. Before I got this position (which I love), I was a post-doc turned research scientist and did some teaching. I edit a lot of NIH grant proposals, so the better I understand the system, the more I can help the investigators I work with.

    2. I’ve discussed the blog at dinner with scientist spouse. I once discussed with my non-academic father my wish that you would discuss an article he sent me from the Wall Street Journal about turning the NIH into an actual lottery.

    3. I’m a bit of a luddite. No Facebook, twitter, or RSS. I have this site bookmarked and check in occasionally. I’m a freshman blog commenter. My first was on the Rock Talk blog and resulted in someone contacting me and telling me about this blog. Lucky me!


  34. Kate Says:

    1. I’m a 4th year postdoc recently transitioned to “Research Associate” (ha) at an East Coast Ivy. I study the gut. I’ve got the funding and network needed to go for a TT job, but building up the pub record before I pull the trigger… I read this blog for tips on how to play the academic game(s). I’m up to my eyeballs in bullshit where I’m at now, so I appreciate the honesty and forthrightness of this blog. Posts on publishing and funding are especially exciting for me.

    2. I tell grad students and other postdocs to read this blog because there are some true gems here.

    3. I found this blog via Dr. Isis and now follow all these folks on Twitter too.


  35. AsianQuarterBack Says:

    1. Industry Scientist-ish Engineer in the healthcare field. A few years ago I graduated with a shiny PhD working under a superstar, but made the (correct?) decision to not even begin to search for the holy TT grail. I get to do cool stuff at work, publish/patent occasionally, and personally keep in touch with what academia is up to – don’t want to miss out on all the fun!

    2. I shake my head everytime I see those R01 payline plots. Tried sending them to colleagues without a PhD – no one could understand nor care much. “Industry jobs don’t with much security either” is a common phrase you hear from the ones who’ve been in both places.

    3. Mike the mad biologist linked to here. Where is he, btw?


  36. Ola Says:

    Tenured middle aged white dude at a med center in the northeast. I think I first came across this place about 5 years ago but only started visiting regularly and commenting in the past year or so. I’m not a neuroscientist, but so much of the info’ here is useful to life sciences as a whole.

    This place and retraction watch are the blogs I tell everyone about.

    I’m on twitter under a different name (actually two). Used to have a blog under yet another name. Regularly comment on a whole bunch of other blogs and places using half a dozen pseuds. I guess you could say I’m your typical internet troll. Thank goodness for TOR.

    On the general subject of who’s here, who’s a pseud or not, I do find the whole community rather odd and interesting. There appears to be a small cadre of bloggers and Twitts who quite probably know each other IRL (I’m thinking off-hand – bam D woodchipper, Dr. Isis, DM, MyTchondria, PottyTheron, DrBecca, DNLee et al.) Hell, maybe it’s all just one person! Anyway, it can sometimes be difficult to follow a conversation on twitter or elsewhere between these folks, because there are in-jokes and things that the rest of us plebs just don’t get. Also, it’s been interesting to see how these blog things fade in and out over the years, as move on. For example PhysioProf just ain’t what he (she?) used to be, the emergence of DataHound as a really important new force, the outing of Dr Isis, the whole BoraZ affair from last year. It’ll be interesting to see what these folks have in store for the next year – go get me some popcorn!


  37. DrLizzyMoore Says:

    1. Just started my 4th year of TT position at small medical school in a northern flyover state. I fell in love with research as an undergrad and never looked back. I come here for the vast knowledge o ‘grants. I like to surprise my PO with questions about stuff/things that I read here. In return, he thinks I’m magic (thanks DM!)

    2. Yes. If there is a particularly good piece of grantsmanship advice or ‘breaking news’ on NIH policy, I forward it to colleagues.

    3. Gosh I started reading back in my post-doc and I believe that I found you through Dr.DrA’s blogroll. I follow you on the Twitts as well, but I haven’t had much time for teh Twittz recently. You know with all of the writing manuscripts and grants. #writingdouchery


  38. Jonathan Says:

    1. Former postdoc, currently work in the policy office of an NIH IC. In my past life I was very active with the NPA and trying to reform the broken biomedical research enterprise, there has always been a robust discussion of those issues here, so I keep coming back.

    2. Yes. Because it has interesting content they should read. I dunno, sometimes? I’m not counting when I link something on twitter, but if I did then yes, lots who aren’t scientists. No.

    3. God knows; I’ve outsourced those sorts of memories to Google now. I used to be more active in the science blogging ‘community’ and guess I found the blog through that network originally. Twitter or checking the page – who uses Facebook for anything other than wishing people happy birthday and checking on family photos?


  39. InsectBiologist Says:

    1) I’m a research track faculty member at a fly-over state university. My work is supported mostly by the NIH. I’m not a neuroscientist, but I love this blog because I’ve learned more about grant writing and grant issues here than I have from any other source. I also enjoy posts on ethics, publishing, and politics. One major strength of this blog is the comments section, which has information and opinions from a diverse group of scientists. One of these days, I hope I’ll have something to contribute.

    2) I frequently discuss posts with colleagues but rarely with friends or family. Same thing for sharing links.

    3) FSP’s blogroll got me here. I tried following on twitter but much prefer the extended discussions of the blog (which I have bookmarked).


  40. Susan Says:

    1. Just finished 2nd year on tt at small eastern R1. Am here for the strategery and robust discussions. And the mentoring.

    2. Yes. And to becca’s tt job advice aggregator.

    3. FSP.


  41. jmcin9 Says:

    1) 4.5yrs into my Postdoc, at a medical college down south. I’ve spanned the I-75 corridor in yo-yo fashion ranging from Michigan to Florida. Starting to apply for faculty positions, so maybe I’ll be coming to a school near you in the Fall. Interested in sensory neuroscience, particularly olfaction. I came and stuck around looking for insight into grants/funding and academic life and to gain an understanding into the experiences of a diverse group of scientists.

    2) Have probably mentioned it to other students to help broaden their views.

    3) Follow through Twitter.


  42. Lee Says:

    1. I’m also a research track faculty member, but with a teaching and service component as well… It makes no sense to me either. I personally enjoy the discourse following posts about pit bulls, and marijuana. I’m also interested in the toxicology of drugs. However, the whining about the current funding situation gets a bit much sometimes.

    2. My non-researcher spouse

    3. no idea how I first landed here.


  43. dsks Says:

    1) 3rd year TT a$$ prof in bio department at a wee 9 mo engineering school located in Almost Canada, NY (hard money, yay!; less of it, boo!). Study the importance of ion channels to global diplomacy. Grant news and advice is primarily why I’m here.

    2) Yes, quite a few. Students, friends, colleagues, etc.

    3) It was a long time ago, I don’t recall. Now I just have a bookmark.


  44. drugmonkey Says:

    One major strength of this blog is the comments section, which has information and opinions from a diverse group of scientists.

    Perhaps the only strength! I love all the stuff the readers have to say. Gives us all a much clearer view than we enjoy from our narrow little myopic viewpoints within science.


  45. doctor d Says:

    Who and why?
    I qualified for Medicare this month but plan to continue writing proposals and doing research. I have nearly 40 years of soft money drug and alcohol abuse research experience. I lurk. I like your persective on NIH review and processes. I tend to have similar opinions. Second opinions, however, are always useful. We work in constantly changeing research and academic environments. I need to stay on top of NIH whims and winds. Your blog helps me do that.

    Tell others?
    I teach short courses on proposal development. I tell all of the students to check out drugmonkey for insights into the NIH processes. Most of them are not drug abuse investigators and I think most never look. Their loss.

    Find out?
    A colleague sent me to the website. I check in irregularly when i have a moment of down time.

    One thought.
    The blog tends to focus on R01 proposals and awards. A sucessful soft money investigator needs to exercise all of the NIH mechanisms (cooperative agreements, R mechanisms, P mechanisms, K mechanisms). It may be helpful for early career invesgtigators to do a blog or two describing the mechanisms and the advantages and disadvantages of each. I currently am PI on a cooperative agreement, two R awards, and a core component for a P award.

    Keep up the good guidance and entertainment. We may cross paths at CPDD.


  46. mytchondria Says:

    Ola: There appears to be a small cadre of bloggers and Twitts who quite probably know each other IRL (I’m thinking off-hand – bam D woodchipper, Dr. Isis, DM, MyTchondria, PottyTheron, DrBecca, DNLee et al.) Hell, maybe it’s all just one person! Anyway, it can sometimes be difficult to follow a conversation on twitter or elsewhere between these folks, because there are in-jokes and things that the rest of us plebs just don’t get.

    RE: Ola
    I think all the folks have some circles they hang with more or less at certain times. I love folks to jump into my Twitter stream particularly when its to bring my attention to something. Since DM is a Blood and I’m a Crip, things get hairy in our domestical squabbles but just assume he’s wrong and I’m right.

    I’d wager 97% of the folks never knew each other before meeting on Twits/Blogs. Jump in there!


  47. Rebecca Says:

    1) I’m an asst professor in a TX medical school. A colleague introduced me to DM blog a few months ago and I became addicted.
    2) when my husband saw me ignoring him while I was reading blog/twitter posts, he became curious. This past weekend he has joined me in my addiction. My poor kids have to listen to us talk blogs and the latest tweets at dinner. Is there a support group?


  48. becca Says:

    1) I am a magical lizard pokemon who pretends to be a postdoc. In neuroscience these days, much to my consternation. I am here for the opportunity to absorb grown up scientist insights, and to exude snarkery to an occasionally tolerant audience.
    2) Yes, at various points. Fellow trainees, I think. And once in a great while I’ll mention it to actual grown up scientist types, though generally I assume they are too old to think positively of this social internety thing.
    3) We could go back to the earlier versions for this. Been around since ScienceBlog days, and of course on the twitter plenty now.


  49. mdphd Says:

    1) TT research faculty, approaching the end of year 4 at a southern medical school. Also African American, male. Ginther et al came out the first year of my appointment, and it has been haunting me since (is the effect real, will i get a fair shot, etc). So I very much appreciate the conversation you’ve generated on the subject over the past year and I have been hooked on the blog ever since. Great grant, career advice that has made me more confident/knowledgable in my scientific/professional circles. Never commented before.

    2) Have shared about the blog with colleagues/friends.

    3) Don’t remember how i found out about the blog, maybe David Kroll’s old site at plos blogs.


  50. Ass(isstant) Prof Says:

    1. I am on the TT at a destination state PUI, but have a workload and expectations more akin to a land grant R1. I got into science because I like to figure out how things work and I have issues with authority. Sometimes I actually do something related to science, but there is a lot of administrative burden when you do research at a non-R1.
    I am here for the careerism discussion and the amusing conversations.

    2. I’ve mentioned the blog to other colleagues, but don’t recall if I sent links. The SO is a former science type (technical sales, then physio research, followed by a decision not to kill any more rats) who moved on to education.

    3. Don’t recall the initial find. Follow on Scientopia. I have a hard time following twitter and find FB a little creepy.


  51. The Lab Mix Says:

    1. I am a fresh-faced postdoc currently in my first year, based in a midwestern medical school, working on genetics and cell biology. I myself enjoy the variety of subjects you address here, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the impact of your NIH/grantsmithing posts. They have aided job searches in a major way, and allowed me to be conversant in what can be a very byzantine language. So big props there. I have truly learned a massive amount about the nuts and bolts of the American scientific enterprise from reading here. I also read the posts on scientific culture and publishing with great interest. These discussions are endlessly fascinating to me.

    2. I don’t recommend the blog as often as I should, but I would consider it critical reading for anyone aiming for the tenure track, or playing the NIH grant game.

    3. I’ve read the blog for a long time, since the early days of ScienceBlogs. I also follow the fun along on twitter


  52. Kate 2 Says:

    1. Science? Only in my dreams. I teach English Comp at a tech college in Dr Rubidium’s neighborhood. I’m mostly on Twitter now that my phone is smart enough. And so I learn that science-the-dream is just that. poof.

    2. Um. My daughter? Because–

    3. Isis.


  53. SM Says:

    1. Just finishing 2nd year as TT Asst Prof in the biological sciences at MRU in the south. Started reading as a postdoc when I was trying to figure out how to be competitive for TT positions and get grants. I enjoying hearing your perspective on things and the advice has been very useful.

    2. Sure, I’ve talked about the blog with colleagues in similar positions and with my own peeps.

    3. I came across this when searching for academic blogs. I check it out at least once a week. I can’t bring myself to deal with the endless drivel on Twitter, so I don’t go there. I don’t do RSS because I want to check in at my leisure and seeing lots of stuff in my RSS box made blog reading feel like a chore..


  54. myninacat Says:

    1. Got into science because I couldn’t sell anything and it seemed like if you worked hard and had the data–you would do ok in science. Found out later that you need to be able to sell your science. Felt like I made a big mistake–just can’t be so insanely sure as some people that this is yes, most definitely THE cure, THE drug, THE WAY TO GO. Wonder if those people are cut from the same cloth as those that claim that yes–they spoke to god that morning and he said–send me your money.

    I was never sure of myself–surrounded by others who seemed to get more prestige/further up the ladder using my data/ideas. Did I mention I’m female? Took me a long time to realize the bad advice my “mentor” was giving me. Men take advantage–are more savvy, politically connected; get a pass on most issues because they’re in the club. And when they’re bad behavior is revealed–they get another pass. It’s my opinion only–but I’ve been in good places–and that seems to be the way it goes. Must have quit a hundred times. Watched so many that looked better than me quit/burn out/disappear. Especially the women. I keep giving it one more try–one more grant, one more experiment, one more manuscript–I love the science part–I’m in the cardiovascular/metabolic disease field. I keep wondering when you get to a point where you can breathe. Just promoted to Prof–but I’m not there yet–the grant situation is just so bad. Have never felt successful–only lucky.

    2. Needed to know more–be part of the club with the inside grant scoop–started looking at the NIH blogs–somehow in a news story your blog came up. I like the advice, the analysis, the comments. Especially the comments–entertaining, insightful, depressing. They’ve helped me be a better reviewer of grants and papers. Not so sure it’s helped with the grants–but at least I’ve got the backstory. Glad to see that my BS meter is calibrated with others on this blog. I’ve sent links to others in science (especially about NIH stuff) and told some trainees–about you and other blogs on scientopia.

    3. RSS. never FB, occasionally Twitter.


  55. PaleoGould Says:

    1) 1st year Postdoc at a state regional medschool. Have just moved to an NIH funded lab from a very much non NIH funded PhD (a change in scientific direction brought about by a range on intrinsic and extrinsic factors). Not a US native, though PhD and Postdoc both in the US. I’m interested both for intellectual and personal benefit reasons in stories about the day to day reality of being a scientist, as well as the broader economic, political and social context of doing science.
    2) I’ve mentioned the blog to people, but haven’t explicitly encouraged people to read it.
    3) I’m not sure how I ended up following the blog. It was through Twitter for sure. My twitter account almost exclusively follows bioscience types. I think I was lead to DM during a twitterstorm of some sort. I have ended up coming to know a variety of Scitopia bloggers both online and IRL.


  56. 1. I’m a postdoc in the East Coast, working in neuroscience (not addiction). I’m finishing the first year of my second postdoc (first one was in PhD lab), and in the last few months I’ve started to think more about the academic career and my future prospects. I like to come here to read general advice and analysis and in general to procrastinate on obligations.

    2. I’ve sent a couple of posts to my SO (also a scientist), and I’ve mentioned content I learned here to my current PI. I did not mention the blog itself because I’m not sure where this PI falls on the “useful to waste-of-time” scale of social media. I can imagine myself recommending it to peers, if these topics come up.

    3. I joined twitter last year and was surprised to find a very active science community there (didn’t know any better). It’s pretty much impossible to start following some of the more vocal twitter science people and not bump into DM. From there, I’ve RSSed Scientopia and have become quite addicted to Data Hound too.

    Also, I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog of my own for a while. I’m not sure I have anything to add to the myriad of perspectives out there, but the self-reflection may be beneficial at some level. So, just because of this post, I’ve started it. There, DM is now responsible for one more idiot spewing opinions online.


  57. Raptor Says:

    Recent MS grad starting PhD (left MS lab on good terms but many good reasons to leave). I am about as fortunate/advantaged as one can get in science. What draws me here is frequent, in depth, sincere discussion of career issues that is extremely hard to get in person. I worry a lot about the integrity of science and the huge mismatch between what is claimed or implied in grants/papers and just how difficult it is and how many times you have to be wrong to make true progress. My experience so far is that the “one last control experiment” is very often necessary and “less exciting alternative explanation” very often ultimately correct. PI’s just don’t have the time or they put on a filter of optimism/encouragement that is not necessarily helpful. Fellow grad students don’t seem to think too much about this stuff and I fear coming off as really negative or cynical. I want to know what it will really be like to continue to pursue tenure track, and especially how to succeed while staying true to my values.

    2) Nope, I suppose I should recommend it to other scientists. It’s readable by non-scientists but the format is suited to details of bigger issues or frequent updates on smaller issues rather than a quick-read summary that covers the big picture.

    3) I just check the website every few days.

    Thanks for doing what you do!


  58. commonredbreastedlurker Says:

    1) I have a B.S. in neurostuff that included ugrad research in a BSD lab & >3 years in biotech working with human stem cells/ipscs for neuron/neurodevelopment. I will be applying to MD and/or MDPhD programs next year… though the more I read DM et al’s convos re: academic jousting, funding, demographics, grantsmanship & the general state of academic (NIH-funded) biomed research the more skeptical I am about a life that includes research as a major component. Frankly feasibility & outlook are fucking depressing so I may leave the hunger games lottery to y’all and just go straight clinical. (Maybe. I really love research but ffs, whatta clusterfuck for new investgators.) I read a lot of what is on twitter but only occasionally the blog. Twitter mainlines everyone’s hope, trivia, successes, drudgery, humor, troll-baiting, & cynicism in a way that fits nicely around incubations and centrifuge use.

    2) Mentioned it to a 1-2 people at work (“ha, look at this tweet [blog post, comment]!”) and a few times when talking with former labmates when we’re thinking about what’s possible in this biomedlyfe.

    3) Twitter, obvs. Found sci & med tweeps once Dr Leigh’s #overlyhonestmethods went viral and I’ve enjoyed twitter much more ever since.


  59. JNP Says:

    1.) Third year TT researcher in immunology at west coast medical research university. Feel comfortable here. Appreciate the honesty, debates and camaraderie. Found solace during last year’s government shutdown as my first RO1 hung in limbo and was more rapidly updated here on the situation than anywhere else.
    2.) My grad student and my parents to help explain the exasperation felt by scientists, especially ESI.
    3.) FSP. Only come back to the blog.


  60. JNP Says:

    ps. Thank you.


  61. mathix Says:

    1) I am a tenure-track mathematician at an R1. I read this blog for the information about grants and also to learn what people think is important to learn about grants and funding agencies; the grants discussed here aren’t precisely the type of grant I can apply for in my field but since there isn’t a blog like this for mathematicians, I hang on here.

    2) yes, to a lab scientist

    3) blog, learned of it via FSP


  62. molliebatmit Says:

    1. I’m starting my second year of a postdoc in a BSD developmental neurobio lab, but I probably started reading here when I was in my second or third year of grad school (at the same ILAF; I am Boston-trained from undergrad up to postdoc). I’ve used information I found here to help me write an F31 and an R01 as a grad student (successfully), as well as an R01, a U01, and a private foundation grant so far as a postdoc (less successfully). Fellow trainees and also my PIs have been impressed by my knowledge of inside baseball.

    2. I have told many of my colleagues about DM, usually when they are impressed by said knowledge of inside baseball, but many of them are not the blog-reading type, much to their detriment.

    3. I follow on Twitter and also by RSS.


  63. Loktar Says:

    Soft money non TT assistant prof rounding 4th at huge med school at a medium sized uni that thinks it’s better than it actually is. The anxiety & fear are palpable wherever junior fac congregate. In the field of mental health & genetics.

    I came here for the grant/career information (and source of moar information). Started following about a year ago, also follow other blogs like science based medicine, neurologica, recently datahound. I read up a lot on The Professor is In, before she turned into a commie activist. Her advice helped me get my shit together wrt taking charge of my career and this blog helped me find the means. I love learning new processes and it’s been exciting to read others’ approaches to grants & career strategies. Over the past year, I’ve realized how terrible my mentor has been and I vow (if I survive) to do better.

    I referred a colleague who came to me with a jam session on how terrible our mentor is at helping with grants, and I referred to the post on Author, Year; the argument for judicious use of cites [1-13], and the comment on PPs blog by Beaker with the 13-point Specific Aims (which I have turned into a checklist, use, and share), and lent my copy of How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded, which I ordered the day you mentioned it and absorbed over a weekend. I took data to a PO once, based on learning to fish here, and PO said, “I think you’re reading too much into this,” then named names and bashed colleague at other IC. Which is exactly the BS I needed to hear to know that I’d waste my time working toward one particular FOA. I have a lab website with a blog updated monthly but only post about science newsy stuff related to my field or lab updates (yay pub! sample fig! Cartoon scheme!). I started my lab site to highlight my contributions when I was searching for industry jobs, so it currently has an identity crisis.

    Sometimes I suspect that the commenters here are colleagues or others I know in my field, but then I try not to think about it. Like Capt Janeway on time travel.


  64. RP Says:

    1) Finishing up 4 years of postdoc and starting TT faculty position in the fall (research heavy, but some teaching). Yes, background in science (I’ll generalize by saying I’m an ASN/APS member). I come for the perspective on the science process and grants. I like your approach and I get a different slant on academia/grants from you than what I get from my mentors.

    2) I discuss this blog with others who also read it. With the exception of my spouse (also sci but more of an NSF type than NIH type) anyone I have told about it has already heard about it. I have never sent it to anyone who doesn’t understand my career.

    3) I found you through comments you left on someone”s blog (FSP maybe? It would have been about 4 years ago). Honestly, at first I thought you were a jerk but now that I am deeper in academia and have read your blog I appreciate what you add to the conversation. I have learned so much and it has helped me look at “things” from angles I hadn’t considered earlier. At one point I followed you on Twitter but I have given up Twitter (I realized I was using it as a procrastination device and cut it out cold-turkey). I just check your blog 1-2x per week.


  65. WH Says:

    This is my first post here.

    1) I’ll be defending my PhD next year at a private med school in the Southeast. I read this blog because I feel it’s a source of “real” information on NIH funding, the job market for PhDs, publishing, grantsmanship, and the like. The PIs at my institution don’t give an accurate job market picture to grad students- “it was this bad when I was in your shoes,” “it’s cyclical,” etc. I appreciate your posts, your links, and the commenters for making this a great place for information.

    2) I’ve discussed posts here with another grad student in my lab as well as my PI. Thanks to this blog, I sometimes feel like I’m more in the loop than him as to what’s happening at the NIH (and he’s R01 funded).

    3) I believe I found you through teh googles, looking for advice as I was writing my predoctoral fellowship. I don’t do Twitter or Facebook, but I regularly stop by your blog to check for updates (2-3x per week).

    Thanks again to you, DM, and to the commenters for your continual information and discussion.


  66. drugmonkey Says:

    mdphd- sorry to be so much of a downer vis a vis Ginther. I do think that as with most general stats it is sort of pointless to try to apply that to any one point in the distribution. Also…what else are you going to :-)? Best of luck with your apps.

    myninacat- yeah…..it is hard to think you’ve “made it” in this business. Perhaps that is a necessary feature, I don’t know. I’m right there with you.

    LAP- looking forward to seeing what you blog!

    Raptor- wow, grad students worry about being seen as cynical ? 🙂

    Loktar- yep, call your POs to chat folks. all kinds of stuff drops out of the tree.

    RP- I’m still a jerk


  67. HSR.anon Says:

    1) I am a health services researcher who does addiction research, just finished a PhD at a large R1 institution and am starting in a soft-money TT position at another R1 institution in the fall. I don’t have a background in science per se (unless you count economics training — the dismal science). Like many others, I lurk on this blog to read about NIH goings-on and glean proposal writing tips. I very much enjoy reading some of the posts about recent articles or interesting data points related to substance use and addiction.

    2) I have shared this website with other trainees and fellows who are working on writing NIH grants and fellowships.

    3) When I was writing my F31, I found myself searching long strings of text on Google to try to find out more information on the NIH review process and perspectives of the NIDA-funded community. I found this website and regularly read the blog when I have a few spare minutes.


  68. Morgan Price Says:

    1. I’m a research scientist (a lifer but not a PI) at a national lab and some of my family is also in science. I’m very interested in how science is (mis?)organized.

    2. I don’t think so.

    3. Originally through scienceblogs.com (or friends of yours who were on there); now I use RSS.


  69. short2thepoint Says:

    I’m a senior grad student in molecular biology, and I’m starting to thinking about the post doc job search. I’ve known about this blog for years but didn’t follow regularly. Now that I’m getting on in years, I come to learn about grants and what a variety of people think about American academic science. I haven’t yet recommended this blog to others but probably will!

    Is there a list of best posts anywhere? I know there’s tons of valuable info in the archive, but the sheer magnitude is a bit overwhelming.


  70. drugmonkey Says:

    Is there a list of best posts anywhere? I know there’s tons of valuable info in the archive, but the sheer magnitude is a bit overwhelming.

    sadly no. The organization is by tags– if you click the NIH related or similar tags at the top of a post that will pull up related content. Otherwise you can either use the search box here on the side bar or resort to Google- search strings that include “drugmonkey” and a few grant related words will pull up a few things.

    For newcomers, I do recommend taking special notice of anything PP wrote about grants back in the day..


  71. drugmonkey Says:

    Dang. Okay, that link doesn’t really go back far enough. Venture back to 2008 in the archives and you should find some good posts from PhysioProf.


  72. Emaderton3 Says:

    1. I am a research assistant professor with a Ph.D. in a clinical department at a top medical school. I am an engineer by training but have done multiple post-docs to train in molecular/cell biology. I am trying my best to get substantial funding so I can hopefully switch to tenure track. I found this blog after being involved (asking lots of questions) on writedit’s blog and saw references to drugmonkey. I continue to visit for insight into NIH funding as well as reading comments by other readers who are in similar positions just trying to further their careers. And, I would like to say that it is well written and entertaining as well. I have stayed for these reasons.

    2. I have not shared the blog with anyone.

    3. I visit the website.


  73. jzsimon Says:

    1) I’m a newly minted graybeard (just got promoted to full professor) whose research is in systems and computational neuroscience. Despite this I still need lots of advice on grantsmanship, which is the main reason I’m here (my need to laugh is the second). I switched over to neuroscience relatively late in my career (I was originally in physics and did a couple of postdocs there) and so I suffer from all sorts of cultural deficits.

    2) I recommend the blog to all the junior faculty I mentor. Also, every year I give a professional training seminar to “Future Faculty” engineering graduate students on NIH funding mechanisms, where I always push this blog. I don’t push it on friends or family, with the exception of Physioprof’s “Revise and Resubmit” masterpiece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn4e6LLc0wI.

    3) I follow the feed exclusively through RSS (old school I know), using Newsblur. I don’t remember my first visit, so it was probably due to googling.


  74. old grantee Says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. I just watched it. It is just so true. Excellent piece DM.


  75. mdphd Says:

    DM-no actually your hashing out the details/implications of the Ginther data with Jeremy Berg and others on the blog has been really insightful and put it in perspective. Only one of my funding apps has been triaged, some scored modestly, others close to the payline, so I am confident that I am in the game, just a matter of hitting the home run! Besides, if I focused on the NIH numbers/outlook, not sure I could give the effort to finish a single app!

    This site is fun because it is academic in the sense that ideas are tossed up for debate, you get a good mix of perspectives, facts are appreciated as facts, and shenanigans from commenters keep it lively. I feel like most of my colleagues (not all) on campus are too deep in their silo, too political, or completely oblivious to the topics that get brought up here to have similar regular conversations like this.

    Keep it up!


  76. DEH Says:

    1) I ‘m a 2nd year postdoc at a large UK Uni/medical research institution. I did my training in the States, but now I’m overseas and largely out of the US grant game. I read now mostly to keep up with everything for when/if I jump back across the pond. I read in grad school for the bigger picture concerning the reality of science careerism and science policy shenanigans. Also, yes, the lols.

    2) Yes. I found the blog early on in grad school and sent out links to peers when relevant. I’ve occasionally sent a link to non-biologist science-leaning friend and/or family on broader topics that come up, usually along the line of ‘this is why you need to vote for people who support science funding…’

    3) Mostly through an RSS, as I’ve only recently discovered twitters. No FB


  77. random PO Says:

    1) I’m a program officer at one of the NIH ICs. I have a background in genetics but as most POs are, now I am a jack of many trades. I read your blog because it gives a nice unfiltered view of what the community really thinks about grant writing, the NIH, etc. Yes I have these conversations with my PIs, but I’m sure no one ever tells me what they really think! Plus I have even learned things about how other ICs handle things or do things, which has been useful and underscores to me how confusing the NIH must be to the grantee community, especially the newbies.

    2) I have told people about your blog, in fact I have provided the link to it in talks I have given on grant writing or the NIH process. I’ve also sent it to my ESI/NIs. I also frequently send posts to my husband, who is a TT prof but doesn’t like to take too much career advice from his wife 🙂

    3) I follow you on twitter and read posts when you link to them there.


  78. RP Says:

    Perhaps you are still a jerk but at least now I know that you offer valuable advice/thoughts. I appreciate the depth of some of your posts. Good info!


  79. anon Says:

    1) First year TT prof at a R1 straddling the NIH/NSF worlds. I learn about NIH funding and senior PIs’ perspectives here.

    2) I followed your advice religiously during my job search and have recommended it to everyone interviewing for a job. I also religiously use your grant advice.

    3) Can’t remember how I found you, but I follow you through feedly, when it’s not being attacked.


  80. drugmonkey Says:

    Mike the mad biologist linked to here. Where is he, btw?



  81. SDA Says:

    Hi DM,
    Long time lurker…maybe I have been reading you for 7 years now. Thanks for all the mentoring.

    1) Just started as TT prof in big U with cancer center. I read a few blogs for career advice and general perspectives on useful stuff

    2) I have sent a link to folks that might be interested i.e fellow grad students or postdocs in the lab or the clueless PI aspirants

    3) Found you through Prodigal academic.


  82. odorlessopie Says:

    I’ve been a lurker for a couple of years.

    1) I am in my second year as an Asst. Prof (TT) at a fly-over state R1. My teaching load is moderate (0.5:1), and my lab focuses on microbial genetics and physiology. I’m here for the grant and noob advice (don’t think I’ll ever stop needing noob advice).

    2) I’ve shared links with my spouse (also a biologist) and my graduate students.

    3) I’m not sure how I found you. Probably the Googles.


  83. Mark Says:

    1) I am a postdoc in biostatistics in a NIH funded lab.

    2) I tell everybody about the blog. It is one of the few places which provides a sobering light on the state of grant funding.

    3) I found it randomly via google when trying to find answers to what is happening with US R01 medical schools one year ago, soon after starting the postdoc.


  84. Grumble Says:

    1. I was a newly minted mostly soft money tenure track assistant prof doing neuromawhatsit research at a med school when I discovered this blog. Now I’m a newly minted nearly 100% soft money associate prof doing the same old neuromawhatsit research at the same old med school, but with a lot more NIH money than when I started (2 R01s for the first time!). Mostly I come here to read perspectives on the NIH, the grant game, and certain aspects of neuroscience that are different from what I hear in the echo chambers I’m a part of. Sometimes it’s refreshing here, often it’s funny, and always it’s rewarding to participate in herd commiseration.

    Oh, and I come here to spout off my opinion that grantwriting is a completely stupid game that requires scientists to do what a good scientist never does (lie), and the NIH ought to change the whole damn system to abolish the ridiculous grant/review kabuki theater.

    2. Yeah, I told some students and post-docs, and maybe a faculty colleague or two. One guy I told said he knows someone who knows someone who knows who DM was, but I’m still convinced he consists of a macaque, some amphetamine and a keyboard.

    3. How the hell am I supposed to remember how I found this place? I can barely remember my students’ names.


  85. Rheophile Says:

    1) Second-year postdoc in biophysics. Here for general academic science kibitzing and grant advice. Especially useful to get the bio/NIH perspective since I have a physics background.

    2) No, I haven’t mentioned it to anyone.

    3) Don’t really remember how I found the blog – possibly via ScienceBlogs via Pharyngula? Read via the homepage and twitter.


  86. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Dude, I am so much more popular than you!


  87. DJMH Says:

    1. About to start a TT med school position in neuro, and I feel that this is largely your and Physioprof’s fault.

    2. Yes, and then I always regret it because you are my secret weapon.

    3. FSP, lo these 6 years ago. But now like rxnm, I just type “sci” into the browser.


  88. drugmonkey Says:

    Congrats DJMH!!!!!


  89. JD Says:

    1) 6th year Asst. Prof. at an R1 Univ. Research Institute (50% soft money). I left a TT position at a mediocre state university during my 2nd year. Was probably a big mistake. Not that leaving Univ #1 was a mistake, but choosing to move to a 50% soft money position in 2009… not so smart. Been sweating bullets about funding ever since. Thankfully just got word of a 12th percentile R01 (in the nick of time perhaps), so we’ll see how that goes. My dream now is to go back to a traditional Chemistry Department, complete with tenure, abundant grad students, and a 9-month contract. Those were the days. I come to this blog mostly for catharsis and the grant-related discussion.

    2) Yes, a few colleagues in the biomedical sciences.

    3) Can’t remember how I originally came across this blog. It was many years ago, though.


  90. LIZR Says:

    1. I’m a TT prof at a big state R1 (coming up for tenure next year) and am an NSF/NIH funded developmental biologist (not neuroscience). I am a regular reader and am pulled in by the fantastically useful commentary on all things NIH and grant-related. As a grad student and as a post doc, I worked in very well-funded labs run by BSDs. The science training was great, but I received no mentoring about grant writing. (I finally got an R01 after switching to Georgia font – thanks for that!)

    2. I have told numerous post docs about this blog to help give them a leg-up on how NIH works and grant writing in general.

    3. I came across this blog around five years ago while google searching for R01 advice.


  91. karassment Says:

    I’m a non-TT faculty member at a fancy non-profit research institute (not in neuro), looking for TT a job. I come here to understand vocabulary like “soft money” and for NIH grant navigating advice. This blog and lots you link to have been a tremendous help!

    I have sent links to my PI when I think he would think they’re funny and have sent addiction posts to family members who deal with dependency.

    I follow on twitter. I found you by googling some term when I was trying to interpret eRA Commons status verbiage after my first R21 submission.


  92. Grumble Says:

    You mean, LIZR, that you finally got a grant despite switching to Georgia font. That shit is UGLY.


  93. Joe Says:

    I’m an assoc prof at an R1 med school in flyover country. I work in infectious diseases and am a regular member of a study section. I’m interested in grad student and post-doc training and whether or not we should be doing it, leveling the playing field for people who are not white dudes like me, advice for improving grantsmanship, and ideas for improving the funding process. I have a couple of R01s that were funded despite being written in Arial 11 and with numbered citations.
    I have told a couple of asst profs about the blog and sent links to particular posts to post-docs and asst profs.
    Originally found through scienceblogs.


  94. Avinash Says:

    1. Graduate student in Biomedical Sciences at a small med-school in the Appalachians. Came here following a link shared on twitter a few of years ago – don’t remember exactly what it was, but it had to do with funding/over-production of PhDs/graduate training. Decided to follow you on twitter, but soon un-followed – a lot of what you were saying sounded too harsh to me, and thought you were being snarky about grad students. Kept reading your blog posts once-in-a-while because they happened to be shared on twitter. And then one day, everything you were saying that used to piss me off made sense. So followed you back on twitter.

    Maybe I needed some time to get used to the idea that science had changed irreversibly, and some of the reasons I got into the field wouldn’t work anymore.

    2. Shared some of your posts with fellow grad students, and friends (who don’t have careers in science) on twitter. Haven’t shared much with family – they aren’t in science, and I’m still trying to get them interested in what I do/interests me. Talking to them about the horrible state of academia will just drive them away.

    3. Follow you on twitter (see 1.) – late to using RSS, and never got around to using them. Have got used to saving links on Pocket now.


  95. anonymous postdoc (shrewshrew) Says:

    1) I found this blog, and many others, during my terrible first postdoc in 2009. I was in search of sanity, and I found more of it online than in person at the time. Now sanity abides, and even the crazy people at least like me ok, so that’s tolerable. I am a 5th year-ish postdoc in behavioral neuroscience.

    2) I do tell trainees about what they can glean from the internet, including this blog. But when the student is ready, the master appears, and I think a lot of people just don’t feel ready to accept that the awesome mentoring they seek can come from an aggregate of pseudonyms on the internet. Their loss.

    3) Feedly. I started a damned twitter because the years have revealed that I know a few of the science twitterers IRL and I wanted to follow my friends, but I don’t have the appropriate amount of logorrhea/ADHD to be a good twatter. I also have scientopia bookmarked, but sometimes, like here, I am more interested in reading what other people have to say than mouthing off at first.


  96. Gareth Says:

    I’ve been a postdoc biochemist for rather too long; currently in a BSD lab in San Diego. I followed DM along with a bunch of other science bloggers on Twitter, and stick around because the opinions and advice are usually worth reading. I’ll RT and link to stuff on here from time to time, and mention this blog as a good source of grants and career advice to people. Thanks!


  97. CurlyOskar Says:

    Lurker here for about a year. Tenured, hard money GenXer at an upper Ivy, so I really should not complain. Reading the blog is cathartic. DM and commenters provide clarifying perspective. The grants advice is also useful and would have been great to have when I was an ESI. I missed the NIH doubling, so its been a real slog up to this point.

    I’ve told my wife about the blog (she’s also a scientist), partly as a substitute for complaining about the latest grant/manuscript rejection or university/dept politics.


  98. neuromusic Says:

    1) 5th year neuro grad student. Came upon this blog ~2009ish when discovering neuroscience blogs. As a trainee, I’ve loved the strong opinions and honesty re grantsmanship and career strategy. I came for the posts and stayed for the comments 🙂

    2) Yes, pretty much any fellow grad student that wants to start exploring social media. I’ve certainly sent specific posts to colleagues if the topic was relevant. I’ve shared a few with my non-academic wife re career “balance” issues.

    3) Used to follow on RSS, but this has happened less often since (a) Google Reader closed shop and (b) I got a smartphone. Now, I’m more likely yo catch the posts that starting making the rounds on Twitter.


  99. Beatriz Says:

    1. Lecturer in Physics at large public university in the US. I got my PhD in Physics while working in an NIH-funded lab, then did a two-year post-doc at a Physics Department but still working with proteins and cells. I read this blog for the science career advice and to learn about NIH grants and funding. I get the summers off, and I am trying to continue doing research in biophysics and/or education (this is new).

    2. I don’t really talk about the blogs I read to anyone IRL.

    3. I follow through RSS; been around since forever (2006?); found at ScienceBlogs.


  100. Optoeverything Says:

    I’m late to this, but thought I’d comment anyway.

    1. 4th year grad student in neuroscience/neuroengineering at private university on the West Coast where the money flows freely and BSDs are everywhere. Minor scienceblogs obsessive (of the RSS-lurker style). Came here originally when I started grad school and was trying to figure out how it all worked (still am). Stayed because I’d like to try for a TT position eventually, and can’t imagine doing it without strategizing. This blog’s been incredibly useful in teaching me grantsmanship, journal politics, career trajectories, funding dilemmas, etc. etc.

    2. I recommend you to ever grad student/postdoc I know who’s serious about an academic career. So far at least some of the recs stick.

    3. Almost entirely through RSS. Sometimes Twitter. Probably started reading you in early 2010. Can’t remember how I found the site at all, probably through going down the blogroll rabbit hole from various places.


  101. Jerry Says:

    1. New professor in neuro/cog areas at a well known state R1. Started reading right around Pepsigate (remember that?) followed various bloggers around.

    2. Nope. I keep the blogs my little ‘secret’. For some reason most people I know seem skeptical of science blogs. Their loss.

    3. I visit the website proper during lunch breaks and what not. My reading is sporadic.


  102. DJMH Says:

    an upper Ivy



  103. Ben Says:

    I’m a recently tenured behavioral neuroscientist at a large northeastern private research university. I come here mainly for the grantsmanship info (lots of good advice from DM and CPP). I started following you a couple years ago when I began to think about the competing renewal for my first R01.

    I’ve recommended this blog to a few colleagues and my postdocs.

    I just stop by and take a look every now and then. I follow you on twitter but haven’t opened it in months.


  104. Fano Says:

    1 – 6th year Ph.D. neurobiology student at Canadian University (UBC), starting postdoc in 5 months at “R01” university in the US (what does “R01” school refer to? A uni that gets a ton of R01’s thrown its way? I’m going to postdoc at UCSD, does that qualify?), trying to get wise to the game of science, find tips for successfully navigating the process of obtaining fellowships and future operating grants if I make it far enough to step up and swing for TT. Completely terrified and excited for diving into the meat grinder in the US, and beginning to understand why I want to apply for TT positions in Canada (WAY less soft money, salary not completely derived from operating grants, CIHR funding is reasonably generous [approx. 200k for my PI’s lab for 5 years, not bad right?] and the success rate wasn’t that bad at 17% the last round, and no Republican congressmen trying to gut the shit out of good science. Had an ok Ph.D: one sub-N but N nonetheless paper (day it got accepted: me happy and drunk. Day after: PI appalled that I hadn’t already produced another paper and told me I was not going to make it), and a society pub hopefully on the way. Postdocking in a junior, assist. PI’s lab at a big school, concerned about obtaining a fellowship, and going to go as hard as I fucking can to get a CNS paper or more, nothing less I hope.

    2- I keep this a secret. As hilarious as this will sound to some/most of you, I want to keep all the useful information I gleam from this blog to myself, thinking that it gives me an advantage. As much as I hate to admit it, some of the colleagues I’m friends with now are my competition in the future, and I will not allow those relationships to compromise my ability to produce and publish. That sounds terrible, but I don’t think I’ll succeed if I take any other approach.

    3- I usually browse the page on Sunday nights when I’ve finished my experiments/other lab stuff, like um, right now, and contemplating how I spent the entire weekend in the lab again. I’m one of those people who hates FB but has an account and uses it regularly because it’s an absolute fucking necessity in this world, and I’ve never ever used Twitter. I like this blog, and I like cats on the internet too.


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