Back in December I wrote about an opportunity to partner with a local campus and the tech transfer office of the state university. It's been progressing. The latest was gaining approval from the campus administration ("Oh... the Chancellor says 'hi', she remembers you, and is excited to be partnering with you ...") and putting together the details of the proposal: objectives, milestones, budget. That should all be submitted by them to the funding agency next week. There's a bit of fire under their feet as the state budget process is looking to make cuts, so spending pre-allocated money hastily is one way to ward off the butcher's cleaver.
I'm in the unaccustomed position of creating a new post-doc position at a university, with good pay and benefits, to work on a project that promises to be engaging, for which I would have been eager to apply for a few years ago. It is distinctly odd to be a party of repute, when in my mind there's little difference between who I am today, and that invisible, nameless, faceless post-doc I was a few years ago (albeit on different campuses).
I'm also planning to hire one new full-time researcher, and a couple part-time interns in-house. One of my current researchers is interested in applying for the post-doc, meaning I may have to replace her on the staff as well. To her, I must appear as the bringer of candy, strewing sweets before her, that she can gather up. At least that would have been my image of someone writing a position description that could be just for me.
There's no telling whether the company will continue to grow, whether I'll be able to sustain the research, creating jobs, delivering on our promises, and making a profit, all the while doing something useful and beneficial to society. I'm cautiously optimistic. The work is difficult and challenging. But quite a thrill to be doing, and rather surprising at times to be leading.
All in all, I'm still here, despite the frequent and enduring silences.