Friday, 30 January 2009

Will Research For Food!!

I've just signed on, I've admitted defeat and begun sponging off the state. I spent 6 years; 3 as an undergrad and 3 as a PhD student to get my PhD. I'm told I've obtained the highest qualification I could hope for, I’m a specialist in my field, its a fact that no-one else in the world knows what I know about my research, yet here I sit, drinking tea (that cost 2% of my weekly income), in despair about how hard it is to get a good job in science.
We have all these websites, Science, Nature, Evoldir and to a lesser extent, yet it seems impossible to find a job that I'm truly qualified for or that I believe hasn't already had a candidate picked for it. Its not like I'm even concerned where I would go, I'm up for working anywhere in the world as long as the group is good.
I suppose it's my own fault, I have convinced myself that I would hold out for a fellowship, get my career of to a good start, yet there are simply none about at the moment. I've applied for the IRCSET Empower fellowship but that’s 20 weeks away from finding out if I’ve got it. So what now? Carry on signing on?
Well I have one thing keeping me sane, I have returned to my old lab and begun researching for free, it seems that it’s easier to get money for consumables than it is staff. I must admit it's liberating, not technically working for anyone but yourself, no time limits etc. exploring every facet of what could be done with your data as I simply don't have the concern that what happens when my funding runs out, as I simply don't have any.
Well I think I’m going to finish my tea and head out into the cold, stroll into the lab and get back to work. After all it could be worse I could be stuck at home watching Trisha.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Evolutionary Discussion Group Meetings Schedule

Please find below the presentation schedule for the University of Nottingham Evolution Discussion Group.

Relevant School Seminar:
Professor John Endler (University of Exeter) 4.15pm, 29th January 2009 B3 Biology
“Testing hypotheses about elaboration, innovation and speciation with Australian Bowerbirds using visual physiology principles”

Dr. Penny Haddrill, University of Edinburgh 4.00pm, 30th January 2009 B3 Biology
'The evolution of noncoding DNA in Drosophila'

Relevant School Seminar:
Dr. Sarah Reece (University of Edinburgh) 4.15pm, 5th February 2009 B3 Biology
“The private lives of malaria parasites: sophisticated strategies for survival and reproduction?”

Relevant Friday Afternoon Seminar:
Francis Gilbert 4.30pm, 6th February 2009 B129, QMC
“The waters of the Nile”

Darwin’s 200th Birthday!
Relevant School Seminar:
Dr. Richard Durbin FRS (Sanger Institute) 4.15pm, 12th February 2009 LT4, QMC
“Studying human genetic variation by whole genome sequencing”

Dr. Tom Price (University of Exeter) 4.00pm, 27th February 2009 B3 Biology
“Selfish genes and polyandry: fertility and extinction”

Relevant Friday Afternoon Seminar
Tom Reader 4.30pm, 5th March 2009 D96 QMC
Title tbc

Liz Bailes 4.00pm, 13th March 2009 LT3 QMC
“Estimating the age of the primate lentivirus radiation”

Relevant first year PhD symposium for Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution groups in the School of Biology 9.30-12.00am, 26th March B3, Biology

No meeting on 27th March 2009, due to first year presentations

John Brookfield 4.00pm, 24th April 2009 LT3, QMC
“Hidden Markov Models, Monte Carlo Markov Chains, and their roles in evolutionary biology”

Speaker tbc 4.00pm, 8th May 2009 B3 Biology

James Hale 4.00pm, 22nd May 2009 D96, QMC
The familial transmission of Helicobacter pylori; a study of intrastrain diversity
Speaker tbc 4.00pm, 5th June 2009 Location tbc

The Pains of Printing

I would have to say the most painful part of my whole PhD was not the viva or even the experiments that didn’t bare fruit. It would have to be the printing of my thesis. This is the last time I will have to print it, the third time overall. Each time of printing I have tried to second guess all the possible problems that may arise and every time Microsoft Word has found a new ways to effectively screw me out of several hours of my life not to mention the waste or trees associated with subsequent reprints. Oh well, I’m sure all this agro will be worth it in the end when I finally get a nice black, hardbound copy.