Jun 12, 2013

Publish or Perish: Devo's Adventures in Academia

It's June ... another semester in the books, and it was kind of a doozy.

On the PhD front this semester, I passed one language exam, and am now just two classes, an additional language exam, and one massive comprehensive exam away from being ABD (all but dissertation).   The idea is that I will attain ABD status in early February.  In the meantime, I will try not to think about what an oversized undertaking the Fall 2013 semester will be by dwelling instead on some of the other happenings of this past semester.

The motto of everyone in academia is 'publish or perish.'  Perhaps to you (nonscholars) this seems a bit extreme, but to me this slogan has become par for the course.  Somehow, inexplicably, I really snapped into scholar mode about a year ago and have been sending out proposal after proposal to be vetted by my advisors before submitting them to be considered for academic conferences, fellowships, and grants.  I would like to say I have had really spectacular success in this endeavor.  Actually, my advisors would probably insist to all of you, as they have repeatedly to me, that I am, in fact, pretty successful considering I'm only two years in as a PhD student.  And as far as conference proposals, my success rate this year has been a whopping 100%.

Really.

As far as various funding sources, however, my success rate is only about 50%--half of the fellowship/grant proposals I've sent off this past year have been accepted, but the ones that were rejected were awards that totaled almost 3x as much as the ones I received.  There are always more things for which to apply, however, and so every time another call for proposals lands in my inbox, I pull out my abstracts and prepare to send them out once again ....  

Of course, the 'next step' in the academic process is getting published, a feat which has very much been on my mind of late.  This is somewhat easier than it sounds, given the number of scholarly periodicals that accept article submissions and the evident interest in my research as suggested by my conference proposal acceptance rate.  All in good time ...


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