Archive for December 19, 2008

Silver Linings

Posted in Science Politics, The Universe and Stuff with tags on December 19, 2008 by telescoper

They say that bad news sells newspapers, so I shouldn’t be surprised with the large number of hits my previous post and the one before that about the Research Assessment Exercise has generated.

However, I heard some news today which has at least provided a bit of a silver lining and put me in a better mood for the Christmas break. My recent application for a grant to the Science and Technology Facilities Council to fund research over the next three years into departures from the concordance cosmological model has actually been selected.

Owing to a budgetary crisis, STFC grants rounds have been very competitive in recent years so I’m quite relieved to have been successful in the present dire financial context. Obviously, somebody out there seems to like what I do. Being a theorist I’m also quite cheap, which probably helped. Or maybe it was just an administrative error…

Anyway, thanks to this grant I will be able to employ a postdoctoral research assistant and spend a bit more of my time on research. It also helps fund a bit of infrastructure within the department. Overall it amounts to about £350K which sounds a lot, but is actually quite small by the standards of particle physics and astronomy grants. STFC isn’t actually Tesco but every little helps.

All I have to do now is convince a potential postdoc to come and work with me in the 35th 22nd best Physics department in the country. What could be simpler?

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