The week started off well, with two papers coming back with minor revisions. Not a moment too soon, as I’ve got major grants expiring and needing to be renewed later this year. My group does theory and simulation, and we’ve done better than experimental groups amid the pandemic, but it hasn’t been completely without a hitch. Over the first several months, students were bewildered and deeply stressed. The political turmoil hasn’t helped, as my students follow current events quite closely and have seemed really worried.
While their access to work hasn’t really been restricted in the same way that experimentalists’ work temporarily has (though people are back in most labs according to socially distanced measures), the fact that many of my students live alone and have not seen anyone familiar in person in months, and that the dark pandemic clouds overhead have repeatedly clashed with the even darker clouds of political unrest, I would say that it’s no surprise that our output last year has not been what it would normally be.
I’ve focused heavily on everyone’s mental well-being, encouraging students to take breaks, making sure not to push if they seemed overwhelmed.
We’ve managed to get four papers submitted in the last few months, two more are about to go in, and at least two more by end of spring.
What’s most important is that we’ve done some great work despite the pandemic, resolved some head-scratchers, and had some long-standing projects come together quite beautifully. I hope this level of productivity will be enough and the new data exciting enough to propel us into the new funding cycle.
How’s your 2021 been so far, academic blogosphere?