Often in my short career as a grad student, I’ve found myself writing to justify my existence. You’re applying for grants, scholarships, awards… these are all very important things because they mean that you get to continue pounding your head against a lab bench day in and out, rather than living in a cardboard box.
“But what’s wrong with that?” You might wonder, if you’re an emo-scientist like myself, “Cardboard isn’t as bad as the cold hard mistress of science…”
However, I digress. This was meant to be a rant about grant writing. What is the best thing about grant/award/give-me-money-to-eat writing? It’s when you stumble upon the “Future Interests” or “Future Career Plans” section at the end. I apologize since I’m sort of repeating myself a bit; however, I feel that it’s hilarious that these applications are literally testing to see how capable you are at lying.
So for those of you that are stuck (maybe you’re not a professional liar like myself…), I am here to solve all of your problems. I am giving you a template.
Please provide a brief description of your future career plans (to graduate over-educated and under-employed): A template.
After attaining my whatever degree you currently have at preferably the institution you earned such degree, I realized that research and lifelong learning are my passions (because I’m a masochist), and the necessity of continuing in my education (because living in the real world scares me). As a result, I am pursuing an advanced degree as my first step in what I hope will be a successful academic career (because no academic-based funding agency wants to hear about your goals to run away to industry). I am passionate about research, and am particularly interested in fundamental questions of what I am researching and its role in the pathogenesis of disease this funding agency supports. I have chosen to study with your principle investigator’s name group because of their commitment my chosen research field that the funding agency supports and their graduate students (hopefully). It is my hope that the funding agency will also assist me in achieving my goals (of eating KD for the next 5 years).
Use wisely, my grant-writing internet friends. And good luck.