Fortune Cookie: NIH is more broken than ever.
Well, my spiritual random draw (tarot card, in this case) tells me I need to have more Faith and Hope in myself.
Been trying that as a mini-mantra this weekend, "Faith and Hope, Faith and Hope, Faith and Hope."
Might have, at the very least, helped my cloning. I'll let you know when I get the sequencing back.
This morning I'm having a bit of an anxiety attack. I think it's the new vitamins I'm trying, they have a lot more B complex than I usually use. It has definitely helped my energy level, but the flip side is disrupting my sleep and making me feel more stressed out, rather than less.
In other news, more postdoctoral fellowship atrocities!
We already knew that postdoctoral salaries have been frozen, despite a previous agreement to raise them gradually over several years up to a reasonable wage for a PhD-holding adult.
Now, the latest word on the street is, if you get a borderline (or maybe not even close to borderline) score on an NIH NRSA, call them or have your PI call them. I'm not sure this was always the case, but it's definitely required now.
This is especially important for younger PIs, who might not have as much of an established track record and might not even know you have to do this.
DO THIS. Keeping in mind, of course, that more established PIs have a major advantage.
More NIH loopholes that set back young faculty members from the outset...
At one institute (which shall go unnamed for anonymity of my friend), they wouldn't even report what NRSA scores were fundable, just who got the grants and who didn't.
Yeah, that's scientific all right.
AND - because wait, it gets better - they've changed the rules on how many years of postdoc funding you can have.
In the past, it was 3 years, regardless of when you got it. So if it took you a year or two to get a fundable score (or a phone call from the right person!) you still got 3 years.
Now, they say you can only have it within the first 3 years of postdoctoral experience. So if you stay in your thesis lab for a year, and get your NIH NRSA the year after, guess what? Only 1 year of postdoctoral funding!
And you know what they say when you tell them this is unrealistic?
You only need 3 years of postdoctoral training.
Um, sure, we agree with that, actually. SO WHERE ARE ALL THOSE PHD JOBS?
I've actually seen faculty positions advertised for Assistant Professors requiring a minimum of 6 years of postdoctoral training. I mean seriously.
Another friend raised a funny point. He said, Can you imagine if they did that for R01s? "Like, sorry, it took you two years to get a fundable score, so now you only get 3 years of money!"
Yeah, that would never fly. Why do postdocs put up with shit like this?
Oh, right, we have zero power. Hey NPA, where are you when we need you to bargain for something?
Maybe we need a union after all.