Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summery Summary

As summers go, this summer was a good one. Compared to the rest of my year, summers are very relaxing, even though I work just as much as I do the rest of the year. The difference is that I can focus more on fewer things in the summer rather than dividing my time among many activities. Also, there are fewer stressful deadlines in the summer. And no faculty meetings.

In the summer I primarily do research (including writing) and I advise students (grad and undergrad) and postdocs. I work on many different projects, but in the summer it is like sampling an enticing buffet of fun and interesting possibilities rather than being overwhelmed by all the things that need my time and attention all at the same time.

This summer, my hope was to get 5-10 manuscripts submitted or resubmitted, some by me and some by others in my research group, as well as a proposal or two. It looks like we got 7 manuscripts (2 with me as first author) and one proposal in, but a few more manuscripts are within reach in the next month or so despite the onset of the academic year and therefore the obliteration of uninterrupted time. Overall, I am content with these results even as I feel my usual impatience about some manuscripts that have been lingering much too long in the almost-ready-to-submit state.

Whether a summer was good or not in terms of research productivity also depends on how much new work gets done, and based on that criterion I am also quite pleased with the summer.

Perhaps I should have titled this post Smug Summer Summary, though my intention is not to boast about my awesomely productive summer but to show that it is possible to feel more satisfaction for what has been accomplished than regret for what remains to be done, even when the work is infinite.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

You go girl!

Ms.PhD said...

Yes, I think you should change the title.

Not all of us are in such high-frequency publishing fields, nor are we in a position to churn out papers and grants.

We will try to be happy for you. But it's easier if you admit that you're maybe a little bit spoiled. =p

Anonymous said...

A typo in the title?

Anonymous said...

Seven mss and a proposal? I'm in awe.

Azulao said...

Yeah, what the first four posters said!

Glad you had a good summer. :-)

Anonymous said...

If I had submitted seven manuscripts I'd be done for the next year and a half, so congrats and a lab party are in order. I was happy sending off two...

Speaking of smug, this could be your Christmas letter if Christmas were in August! You'd just have to add the many things your child had done to prep them for their inevitable entry into Harvard.

Mark P

female Science Professor said...

I can see how adjectives such as "obnoxious" might be applicable, but I don't get "spoiled".

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Well fuck me! That's a lotta motherfucking manuscripts!!

Anonymous said...

Hi FSP, maybe you could address how you keep track of all your projects? Do you have some kind of a list or spreadsheet or notebook or big whiteboard or what? I keep trying different systems to be able to see visually all the stuff that I'm doing. I'd love to see a discussion about this.

FemgineerPhD said...

What caught my attention is that you're first author on the work that came (I assume primarily) out of your lab. In most engineering disciplines it's more common for the lead faculty to be last on the list of authors, with the main student writer being listed first. I guess this is a cultural difference. Makes you wonder how disciplines came to diverge down this path...

female Science Professor said...

For projects that involve research primarily by students, postdocs etc., I am of course not first author, but I have some projects with faculty colleagues and no students/postdocs, in which case we decide among ourselves how to deal with authorship order.

rms said...

assuming you are in stationary state, you devise, work out, develop, finish, and document ~7 new original ideas/month!!
your are not a female science professor, simply because you are not even human

FemgineerPhD said...

These projects that don't involve any students remind me of a previous blog in which you mentioned that you try to gather some data on your own in the lab (if you have time). Do you still run experiments yourself? I'm just curious, because I haven't seen many faculty do this. In fact, I know many faculty who'd prefer to avoid doing hands-on science.