Hello readers! So I’m happy to report that in July on my vacation I managed to get quite a lot done on two major parts of the grant. We still need to come up with a budget, but the experimental plan and objectives are nailed down! I’m optimistic that we will make the deadline (ostensibly in October, but internal deadlines are sooner). Really all this needs is about one afternoon to put together a budget, then one or two days for someone to fill in all the different boxes and things in the online forms. This has to be done at UCLA, not by me (though I will help with the budget), but I am happy that everything is at a point where it can progress.
Speaking of progression, I am leaving my current full-time job soon and, after a vacation break (probably a lengthy one), going back to school to pick up a certificate in computer science. I’m lucky enough that my husband is willing to support me financially through all that. This means that I’ll have more free time and energy, though nothing can be done with this project until we get more experimental results, and that will require someone to do the work (I can’t afford to unless I am getting paid, and I have no immediate plans to move to Los Angeles to work at UCLA). I’ll be better able to help with the analysis of the data once I have my certificate, and so I’m looking forward to acting as collaborator/bioinformatician in the future, once funding has been achieved and experiments run.
I’ll also have more free time to survey the burgeoning literature for interesting microbiome studies. I have a number of interesting papers which I kept meaning to share for a long time and never quite got around to, and I hope to post a bit more often once I’m on my next vacation.