Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let the politics begin !

Today a colleague (lets call hir YY) of mine came to my office. This person is very senior and has had many successful grants and students.

I told hir that I have discussed some of my idea with another colleague (lets call hir XX). This is what YY said to me:

"you do not want to discuss your ideas. If you have some one senior come to you, just tell them that you are if they have an idea you will be happy to work with them. You will get your ideas and money stolen especially with XX".

There are few senairos that arose in my mind:

1) YY wants to work with me (this was mentioned in our conversation) and wants to keep me for hirself.
2) XX is as is described. There is some evidance to it since XX has not worked with any one in a substantial way
3) I cant think of the third. May you can :P

 So I have these questions from the blogosphere:

1) How often does your ideas get stolen in academia? Not scooped as in when you are in competition and want to out do each other. But stolen !
2) How often you had problems with a senior collegue for using funds i.e. you were junior but a PI and the senior was a co-PI. Do you happen to have problems such as the senior trying to use your money etc.
3) How do you know who to trust. There can be a lot of overlap between expertise but you do want some on who you could trust right. How do you decide who to discuss your ideas with?

I often heard in my pre-academia-existance that academia is very political. I am coming to taste it now. Hopefully it will be fun.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Too many things

Here are the random thoughts in my mind.

Recently I visited the country where I grew up. It was a rather long trip of 5 weeks and I got to spend a significant time with family and friends. Everything was nice and pleasurable; except for it didn't look real. It didn't felt like home. It was nostalgic sure but it wasn't home. I came back to the US and it felt nicer, familiar, home...

I don't know how to comprehend it because it felt nicer, familiar when I went back to the place I grew up in. It has been a decade since I left that place and things have changed. People have changed. Their thinking and living styles have changed. It reminds me of my childhood but it does not constitute a home any more.

On another front I am in the middle of a large move for me and my family. It is a cross country move and the first major move since our child. It is rather sooner than I had expected and wanted but I do not see any other choice. Things have to be packed, things have to be moved, apartments have to be cleaned and handed over, apartments have to be looked and decided up on in the new place, I have to make a short visit to the department, move has to be arranged for my car and the family. All of this has to be done within two weeks. Wife is a big help since she is taking care of all the scheduling along with a sick child.

I am taking up a position that I have dreamed about since the day I started doing science. It is a tenure track position with startup funds and my own lab-setup. I will have my own PhD students and my own equipment. I will be the director of my own lab and will be responsible for every one working in it. I will have to bring in money and teach as well. I will have to do service and learn the new ropes of tenure track position. I don't know if I am excited or scared.