I have a chance to resubmit a dead grant. I have a few weeks to do so. I might have had longer but the truth is, I had given up on both the grant and academia in general. The fight felt humiliating and I couldn’t take any more humiliation. It’s hard to ask for special exceptions without feeling pathetic and broken.
But, y’know, fuck that.
You don’t get if you don’t ask. So I asked. And I got. It’s a chance, nothing more. And looking over the grant I’m revising…damn it’s a complete mess. I over-promised (the biggest sin) and in over-promising I cut data and background that’s absolutely needed for things to come together cohesively.
More than that, I tried at first to write the thing using voice to text software. This turned out to be a terrible idea for an inexperienced software user attempting a first time grant. The program didn’t understand my scientific jargon and I have yet to train myself to speak in the stilted structured science-ese that pervades the literature. I was terrified to admit how far behind this left me, so I hid the disaster until the last minute. By the time I solicited help, everyone helping me was pulling all-nighters along with me.
That should not have happened.
My right (dominant) hand is a mess. It has an impressive amount of titanium hardware bolted into the bones of my wrist from long-ago falls and deep purple-green bruising from recent ones. More to the point, I have spinal lesions that have left my hands numb and clumsy and weak and terrible. For some time I’ve assumed that this is the death knell of a scientific career. “Hands” are a metaphor for good benchwork, and my hands frankly suck. How can I ever leap the hurdle between postdoc and PI when I can barely type and only pipette for brief stretches?
The conclusion I have reached is this: I have no fucking idea.
I am still trying though. When I figure it out, I’ll let you all know.