Monthly Archives: June 2022

Some career news: a(nother) metamorphosis begins

Warning: navel gazing.

I’ve not been noted, over my career, for laser-focused stick-to-it-iveness. Instead, I’ve reinvented myself a few times, changing my research focus – among other things – repeatedly. But I’m about to launch my biggest reinvention yet. I’m retiring – albeit gradually and not right away. Continue reading

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Let’s stop (usually) with the second round of review

I’m grumpy today about something that hasn’t even happened yet. Yes, that’s probably unreasonable; but I’m grumpy about something that happens too often, and I’m going to make myself feel better by venting just a little. I claim (at least partly because it’s true) that I have a real point to make.

Here’s what I’m grumpy about: second rounds of peer review. Continue reading

Sure, spiders might be insects, but surely bees aren’t fish?

Two years ago I treated you to the story of how in Alabama, spiders are legally insects.  “Hold my beer”, said California, and two weeks ago a California court declared that bees are fish. I know; that’s ridiculous. It turns out, though, that it isn’t ridiculous in the biological way you’re thinking; rather, it’s ridiculous in a scientific-writing way. At least, that’s going to be my take, and I hope you’ll come along. Continue reading

Effective grant proposals, Part 4: Who are you writing for?

Today, the fourth part in my series on writing effective grant proposals. The first three parts were concerned with content, but in hindsight, I’m not sure that I put first things first. That’s because before you write anything, you should think carefully about who you’re writing for – and this is this is true in spades for grant proposals. Who will read your proposal, and decide its fate? If you haven’t answered that question, you’re throwing darts without knowing where the dartboard is.

So, who will read your proposal? Well, the answer is (as it is so often) “it depends”. Continue reading