Silver Linings

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?

8 Responses to “Silver Linings”

  1. Adrian Burd Says:


    Congratulations on the grant! I sympathize with your plight of finding a postdoc – I’m trying to find one at the moment and what’s more, I’ve been looking for a graduate student for the last two years! I offered three prospective students full research assistantships last year and all refused the offer.

    They don’t train them the way they used to you know!


  2. I am of course avoiding writing a post on the RAE cos I don’t want to look smug. How did we do so well when you have never worked for us Peter ?

  3. Rob Ivison Says:

    Andy – can’t we try to snap him up? Anything to annoy my pal, Walter, and we’ll be incredibly well positioned when RAE2014 turns out to be based on blog hits (and Edinburgh could use a man with decent hair).

  4. Michael Merrifield Says:

    I am of course avoiding writing a post on the RAE cos I don’t want to look smug.


  5. […] it’s time for some serious science blogging—and not least because Peter Coles is hiring. Luke has pioneered masterfully the science blogpost-series form, so without breaking too much new […]

  6. […] receiving the news a while ago that I had a new research grant, I subsequently got official approval to advertise for […]

  7. […] Cost regime (FEC), it also pays for fractions of academic staff effort on its projects. On my recent successful STFC grant, for example, I was awarded 25% of my time (i.e. 0.25 FTE, […]

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