Thursday, July 03, 2008

Research Fellowship Success


Tucson, Arizona. The dissertation page count (at left) produces more inquiry and conversation (personally) than blog content. Sparing the reader details, the last two months have been devoted to: 1) data infrastructure, and 2) the application for a very competitive fellowship.

A research grant of considerable financial value, the fellowship provides compensation for "exemplary" excellence in research leading to a dissertation worthy of significant funding and exposure. Obtaining a research grant is difficult for distinguished professors with publication portfolios. Obtaining one as a doctoral student without a PhD for writing a dissertation is almost impossible.

The operative word, of course, being "almost." I am delighted to announce that my efforts to be awarded a significant fellowship to conduct my research and write a dissertation have borne fruit. The good news (aside from the compensation) is that this substantially increases the exposure of my work, and for better or worse, it also increases expectations across the board and raises the pressure to produce extraordinary results.

Not complaining here. I thrive under pressure of this kind. Back in 2004, when SAIAT's funding was slashed 75%, it occurred as a phenomenal challenge where success would bring reward. When success was punished, I tendered my resignation and switched to another game. Granted, I could have groveled, browned my nose, licked certain toes, and been a fine piece of fabric, perhaps not six figure fabric, but pretty close. Alas, I have a soul. It matters. Life after death or not, the current game works for me better than milking life out of a parking lot scam.

(Carol D. Lee, Co-Coordinator, SESP Spencer Research Training Program, and Professor, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University) Where does the current game lead? Time will tell. Summing up the mission of the rest of my career in a single statement, I would put it as follows:

My work is dedicated to maximizing the ability of hungry minds to obtain the education they seek to contribute to themselves, their families, and society.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Navigator said...

A most heartfelt and deserved congratulations!!

Seriously, x4mr, as a blogger and a person, you are in a class by yourself.

I can guess with confidence (but won't say) who gave you those lot 175 photos, but if that isn't a hand in a cookie jar, I don't know what is.

God Bless,
NAV.

7/03/2008 8:50 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Congratulations, X4mr. It is always good to know that there are still opportunities for success here in the USA without going to the crossroads and selling your soul to the devil. I hope that others are inspired by this, and I would guess that quite a few are, and quite a few will be.

7/04/2008 7:21 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

What?

A highly educated population?!

With a sophisticated and informed electorate, no republicans would ever get elected, x4mr.

Now you are making powerful enemies, indeed, not just a bunch of slobs that steal money.

On second thought...

7/04/2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Congrats! It's nice to have something substantial to help pay the bills while finishing school.

Looking forward to reading the dissertation.

7/04/2008 4:06 PM  

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