Time always seems limited, whether you’re a parent in the lab or not. So how do you best spend that limited time: with writing grants or papers or doing experiments? Obviously you have to do experiments to get data. You need data to put into papers to have publications in order to look good for your grants. Or you need to do experiments to get preliminary data for your grants. But how do you prioritize what to do first?
I spend most of the second half of last year writing grants, thinking that I would need money to have a job in the homecountry. Actually, I got a job on somebody else’s money, because all 3 of the fellowship applications that I wrote were rejected. This makes me wonder whether I should have spent my time doing more experiments instead of writing those proposals. But had I not written those proposals, then the one that I submitted recently would probably not have been as good as it was (at least I thought it was good…).
How do you go about this? When does writing take precedence over doing experiments? As a post-doc what are your priorities? And as a PI where do you think your post-doc’s priorities should lie?