Thursday, January 17, 2013

New directions in a new year

Although we are already more than half-way through January, I'd like to say happy 2013 to all readers of this blog! Better late than never.

It won't have escaped the attention of regular visitors that the rate of posting new items here has significantly declined over the last few months, as exemplified by the belated new year's greetings. There is a good reason for this. It isn't that I haven't thought of any things to write about; on the contrary, I have had lots of ideas, but not enough time to write them up. Instead the hiatus has primarily been because I have been applying for a new postdoctoral job starting this coming October, and writing tailored job applications is an incredibly time-consuming process — much the same as in non-academic jobs, I suppose, though with the added annoyance that all the time spent writing in detail about what wonderful research you would do if hired is time not spent actually doing any research. Between those two competing claims for my attention and all the rest of real life, there was no time at all left for blogging.

However, the result of all this time spent applying is that I have now been offered, and accepted, a 2-year postdoc position to start in October at the University of Helsinki, in the group of Kari Enqvist. I have to say, I am very pleased about this, and not only because it means I needn't spend any further time on applications! In fact from a previous visit there, I know that the atmosphere in the Helsinki research group is one that I will enjoy very much.

I understand that to people outside academic physics circles, applying in about November (in fact some deadlines this year were even slightly earlier) for a job due to start fully 11 months later might seem a little odd. But that is the way the system works, and it probably isn't the only odd thing about physicists anyway. On the bright side though, it does mean that — as in this case — the question of where in the world one is moving to can all be settled by January, leaving plenty of time to plan the move, both in academic and purely logistical terms.

Anyway, now that this business is over, you can expect to see a slightly improved rate of posting here.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on getting the job. I gave a talk in Helsinki once, I think one of my best. I don't remember if Kari was there. Interesting city. My host Matts Roos made it a very enjoyable visit.