Since my last post, I've actually become even more excited about broader impacts. In a recent lab meeting, the group decided it would be an awesome idea to create a page for the departmental website that outlined volunteer, outreach, and diversity-increasing activities. Not only would people have more ideas for their grant proposals, but I think people would actually be more inspired to get out of the lab! My advisor and the lab group will be oraganizing a 'participatory' seminar on the topic to be conducted in spring. Can't wait to post an update on that!
So, I said I would muse on broader impacts, so here we go.
I think at the time I wrote the last post, I was feeling uninspired and unsure of how to add those broader impacts (i.e. increase accessibility of knowledge to underrepresented groups in the sciences) into my proposals. I have since completed said proposal writing, and am actually fairly excited about my broader impacts. It helps to have relevant institution-based programs that serve this purpose, becuase then you can say you will cooperate with such and such a program. Smaller institutions would be at a disadvantage potentially in this regard.
Also, I've been utterly swamped with classwork and grant writing, and I would be HAPPY to do some research combined with outreach to people OUTSIDE my department/lab. I guess I have plenty of time for that while I'm here.....
Well, it's been quite a while since my last post, and I'm feeling like an update is in order. Since my last post, I've defended my masters thesis and started school at my PhD institution.
Finishing my masters (actually submitting the final signed copy) seems farther away now than it has all summer. With all my new classes and different demands on my time, how am I supposed to finish off this manuscript??
My writing energies will likely be focused on applying for grants (at least for a little while), but maybe I'll be wanting a break from that. Related to this: thoughts on Broader Impacts to come soon.
I am frequently encountering situations in which it is appropriate for me to explain to someone my research interests in 1-2 succinct 5-10 word sentence(s). In the scientific community, this seems much less challenging (to my surprise) than in a non-science setting. This is particularly true for me, I think, because I study ecology. I find myself saying "I study ecology/environmental science" rather than simply "I study ecology". If I ever leave off the extra "environmental science", I get blank stares or inquiring questions like, "Oh, that's where you tell people where they can and can't build, right?" And I suppose the short answer to this questions is more or less "yes" in the applied sense, but this is not what I study when I go to the lab everyday.
I wish there was a more colloquial word for 'ecology'.
Why indeed? I seem to be more and more absorbed by the admission process this spring and my friends and family are starting to drop hints that they don't really want to hear me talk about the various programs and people I've applied to. Hopefully this will be a forum for me to unload some of my concerns, hopes, and experiences through the process.
I'm finishing a MS at a Small State School and so have stresses associated with that, but have applied to three Large State Schools for a PhD. I've thus far been accepted to one of those LSS (go me!), but funding is scarce this year, and I may not ever get an offer from the other schools. Which is okay, but my ego would love it if I got to choose between schools!
Which brings me to my growing ego -- this recruitment process has only helped it get bigger, which I'm not sure I (or my friends and family) like. Maybe it's just growing pains?