Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Just not in position to vent to the internet and too busy to put together good science posts.

I *finally* heard back from the SMART program, and interviewed with two groups at my top choice DoD facility. Now I get to wait for the budget fairies to tell them whether or not they actually have the money to take on a student. This may create some drama, since I'd already been offered an university internal fellowship for next year, but I suppose it's a good problem to have. I'm keeping my fingers crossed hard: the SMART program would give me a fixed end date I *must* graduate by, from someone who can actually force my advisor to meet the deadline (i.e., the people who fund over half of my research group).

In other news, one of the groups I'm in is working on a proposal for how to change the evaluation of PhD students at my institution, such that there is actually an annual evaluation and goal setting process for all students. I'm pretty optimistic. We've got a new dean who is willing to take this on as one of his pet issues and push the faculty.

The oldest student in my group looks like he will finally defend in August or September, bringing the number of students I've seen graduate up to the number of students I've seen leave.

All in all, I'm feeling more hopeful that I will manage to graduate someday.


  1. ... there ISN'T an annual "evaluation and goal setting process for all students" ??? ACK ACK ACK.

    Dr. S just lost out on a job because the DoD budget fairies were suffering form the sequester. I hope your fairies are in better shape! As for advisor forcing, BLEH. In retrospect that was the single best thing about my advisor: when I told him I had to leave, he said, fine, we're on.

    1. It allegedly exists, but it either doesn't happen, or students never actually see the evaluation that comes out of it. The offensive part is that the current forms typically require a student signature, but from talking to students, the vast majority have never seen, let alone signed off on such a form.

      I'm hoping that having two different groups at the same facility who told me I was their top candidate will help my budget fairy odds, but I'm certainly not holding my breath.