I spent a large chunk of recent time getting an application together, which was duly submitted just before the festive break. The application was for a 3-yr Fellowship in a research field that for me pulled together previous and current endeavours into one theme. I am hoping of course to progress through the application process, and while undoubtedly there are a lot of researchers applying too, I am pleased that I am feeling fairly sanguine about the whole thing.
In many ways the application process in of itself so far has been very revealing. Throughout the writing I discovered (or rediscovered) a lot of latent ambition, drive and direction. It is all too easy as an experienced post-doctoral researcher to believe the window on such opportunities has all but gone when near enough every funding scheme has an explicit or implicit age criteria (there are many articles and commentaries on this subject and so I am not going to plough that field over again). The main message for me was that the will, desire and appetite are most definitely there, and that there are people around me willing to support, mentor and collaborate with me in these efforts.
A great note to move into 2012 with, and a fine line to draw under an up and down 2011.