Wednesday, June 10, 2009


... rolling downhill.
This morning, I received an email from someone I had met at a conference in 2004 in Europe, while I was still a PhD Candidate. She's about to graduate now. She was writing to me in response to my posting a few weeks ago for preliminary interest regarding a possible post-doc position with my firm. She'd be great! I've got firm interest from another colleague of mine (a cohort from graduate school who started with me, but who's only now managed to file his dissertation in my secondary field, not my primary).

I'm feeling really good about the team I'm putting together. Wow! I can hire these people at a decent post-doc rate, and have them help me propel the research forward.

This morning I sent a note to the CEO of a company whom I had met a few years ago at [Industry Conference] when I first got interested in applied research. I wanted to ascertain if they had any interest in subcontracting for me on my Stage 2 contract. He wrote back that yes, they were very interested. We'll talk tomorrow on the phone to discuss details.

I'm a little anxious about ensuring that we have mutual protections for our IP, and that we execute a reasonable partnership agreement that permits both of us to benefit from the collaboration, but which doesn't unduly "give away the farm." I think we can manage it. I'm willing to pay attorney's fees to ensure that.

But it's all happening fast. The project director for the agency that's sponsoring my Stage 2 effort wrote to me yesterday with a few points to consider in my proposal, and closed:
We were pleased with the technical work you provided in the first Stage and look forward to working with you as we move forward.
Oh yeah! Can I just say... I like being pat on the back. I really can't express quite how excited I am to be where I am, to be validated (ever so belatedly). This is just a start I know. But I'm feeling so on top of things. The research means so much to me, and knowing that it's valued! The money could fall through. The contracts could dissipate. And... you know what? I'd be fine. We'd be fine.

But, I have no plans to shoot myself in the foot. I want to do this right. I'm taking my time, and double-checking everything. I'm almost done with my draft proposal. I wanted to have it done today, but it wasn't quite ready. I should be able to finish it up in the morning. Then it's the mad dash to finish and submit another proposal due early next week. Then back to polishing the draft into a final. And soon I'm back to the project.

I'll try to fly both of my prospective post-docs in (probably at the same time, or overlapping, so they can meet each other) in the next couple weeks. The chicken's are beginning to hatch. I'm almost ready to start counting.

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