A new year always begins with good intentions. 2017 was that way. I had good plans to curate non-federal research grant opportunities every month and include a short blog post about grant proposal writing or the post-academic life. That lasted until April.
So, what happened?
Referrals for substantive grant proposal and manuscript consulting work happened.
We joke about the cliché,
it’s not what you know, but who you know.
It’s all too true regardless of profession. It’s especially true for academics as we are the last bastion of the medieval master-apprentice system of training. Nowadays that pedigree includes collaborators, mentors, acquaintances, and others. Scientific experience and academic credibility matters when colleagues ask you to help them with their work. Grant consulting for academic scientists is, therefore, a referral business.
It started with a referral from a scientist I met through social media. So, when medical school faculty members contacted me about reviewing and editing their grant proposals and manuscripts, I said yes. This led to multiple and recurring clients. Reviewing and revising these documents is fun, unlike that constant academic chore of grading all those student laboratory reports and papers. That said grading thousands of student papers in biology for spelling, grammar, organization, and science literacy with the hope I was training future colleagues represents a solid foundation for working with my peers.
Did I say it was fun?
It’s fun because it keeps me engaged with the scientific community in a second career.
It’s fun because I learn new things.
It’s fun because I like helping my fellow scientists with their writing and research.
Getting paid for doing what you think is fun is even better. It is not easy and can be challenging, but fun nevertheless. Let me know if I can help you with your writing and research proposals in 2018.
Happy New Year!