More NIH anti-postdoc shenanigans: WTF is this?
While struggling to find bridge funding to "finish" my postdoc and get a faculty position, several people suggested I look into career re-entry funding sources.
There are several options for these, mostly tiny grants geared toward women who took very extended maternity leave, aka several years off to take care of her husband's career and raise children.
But, there is almost always exclusionary language that makes it impossible for a postdoc to apply if she hasn't had children or doesn't meet the extremely specific requirements.
Take for example this funding mechanism, which is much less restrictive in that it's not limited to women or for having children, and it also sounds like it would cover your entire salary (!). This grant claims to support individuals with high potential to reenter an active research career after taking time off to care for children or parents or to attend to other family responsibilities.
Does attending to sexism count?
No, of course not, I'm just kidding!
Seriously though, what about divorce? Extended international custody battle? What are "other family responsibilities"? Sounds fishy to me. What would count, short of taking care of a sibling or spouse or uncle or aunt with a fatal disease?
Point being, I think there should be grants like this. I'm sure there are people who really have had to deal with these kinds of things (I have a couple of very close friends who have had to).
Still, they wouldn't qualify. Because it looks like NIGMS figured out a ridiculous way to make it virtually impossible for almost anyone to be eligible.
To me, it sounds like they want this grant to be for a minuscule number of people who interviewed for a tenure-track position, got an offer, and signed on the dotted line:
must have qualified for a faculty appointment at the assistant professor or equivalent level at the time of leaving active research.
What's "qualified"? How do you prove that? An offer letter? And what's equivalent to assistant professor level? Research track? Give me a break.
And then you would have had to suddenly leave with a major emergency - for a while?
The duration of the career interruption should be for at least 2 and no more than 8 years
I mean really. How many of these are they going to fund? This grant reads like something created by a program director for his now-dead brother's wife.
A teeny bit too specific to make much of a dent in the hordes of women who have "chosen" to leave sometime during the postdoc, or who have been openly forced out.