Happy New Year

January 1, 2015

Here’s to wishing all of my Readers a fantastic 2015.

May your grants be funded, your papers accepted and your promotions obtained.

I am looking forward to a year in which my work needle is shifted from the grant writing side to the paper publishing side…I do appreciate those moments.

We had a bit of new assay development last year that should, in theory, move into the productivity stage. I don’t know what all we will get done but it will be interesting. To me, if nobody else (and that’s what matters, right?).

There are two non-data things I need to finally write this year. One is a review, the other is a something-else I’ve been trying to write for several years now.

I need to recruit at least one postdoc….

It is NOT, despite temptation, a year to get involved in University political machinations. I know better and must resist.

I contemplate, as always, the deficiencies of the NIH grant scheme and think about the places I need to poke. If Sally Rockey is really leaving then this is a place to turn up the blog noise when her successor arrives. My IRL moves are, naturally, directed much closer to the ground game.

Exercise more, drink less (coffee and alcohol). I am in generous company there, I suspect.

Plot the next assault on a Big Mech. I am of mixed opinion as you know, Dear Reader. Naturally I am wary of boondoggles. They can be highly inefficient and are a huge pain in the butt for the main people driving the program. However, this is one area that arises from a crystal clear strategic need and a misfit with traditional R01s.

Actually there are two of them I need to pursue. One really needs to be done so that the little subfield stops screwing around continuing to fail upwards in tiny increments. The biggest hurdle here is actually of the personnel / political variety…and I suck at navigating those. I am not sympathetic to egos when NIH grants are on the line and I have no idea how to communicate with the egotistical type. The second project is much easier from the personnel standpoint because it can move forward with the good-personality people as the major players and YHN as the major figure. For this one the hurdle is clearly the science, meaning Program and peer-review enthusiasm.

I take two really vacationy vacations each year. The kind where I don’t even try to work and where we have a ton of help wrangling the offspring. You know the type. I have to figure out how to expand those by about 50%.

15 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. Neuro-conservative Says:

    Happy New Year, DM. I resolve to not get into political fights in the comments section of this blog — it is much more interesting and productive to talk about grantsmanship, or to actually, you know, write grants.

    Just know that I am a big fan of yours and of this blog & community, and gratuitous swipes at the motivations of your political opponents can be needlessly offensive.


  2. becca Says:

    We took our first actual “vacationy vacation” since the BC era (family to wrangle offspring is A-mAH-zing). Now I see why people do that…


  3. drugmonkey Says:

    Becca- right?

    N-c: glad you hang around dude, just so I can say “some of my Readers are conservative”.


  4. Jim Woodgett Says:

    Hope 2015 is amazingly successful for you DM. It’ll be a watershed year for Canadian health research. I have to believe that at some point the chaos will subside – just hope there aren’t too many career fatalities of people who don’t fit the increasingly prescriptive mould. Expect fireworks to be visible from at least 300 km south of the border.


  5. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Happy New Year, fuckewadde! You know you need a non-vertebrate model system for your big mech. And you know where to find me!!


  6. drugmonkey Says:

    Dang it, that’s the third one PP!


  7. Odyssey Says:

    Happy New Year DM!!! As someone who is somewhat mired in the politics of a big mech (that I don’t head), I strongly urge you to stay as far away from the politics as best you can.


  8. anonymous? Says:

    Hey Drugmonekey,

    Can you comment on this story by VICE news? Someone asked me about the prevelance of drug industry consulting money in your field (and other related ones). I’m not really sure what to think of this news story, but it has the potential to feed into American conspiracy culture a lot more than Truthers, Chemtrails and whatnot.



  9. Happy new year, DM. Best wishes for many published papers this year – and the vacation thing sounds exactly right. Just finished reading a great book called “The Rise” which discusses how people overcome failure and go on to be successful. One chapter discusses the importance of “play”, both for children and adults. And how adults get rid of it from our lives because we think we don’t have time – yet it is a major source of creativity.

    Anyway, I feel like I can now count vacations as career development.


  10. drugmonkey Says:


    Standard “Pharma shill” character assassination stuff. Famous folks both get paid and asked to opine in public. Thing is, many scientists who *don’t* have big Pharma relationships say the same things. So the premise is falsified.


  11. Grumble Says:

    Happy New Year, all!

    Thanks, Katie Whitehead! That is truly inspiring advice. Specifically, it inspires me to deduct the cost of my vacations on my tax return.


  12. Insect Biologist Says:

    Happy New Year, DM! Thanks for another year of useful information and good advice. This year is getting off to a good start with the idea of vacations as career development!


  13. GAATTC Says:

    Happy New Year to you as well DM.


  14. Lady Scientist Says:

    I now realize that CPP is a non-vertebrate.


  15. attheslac Says:

    Happy New Year, DrugMonkey. Thanks for the valuable comments and may the data flow freely.


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