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Switching Stanford for Sweden

  • General

After a month back home, I’ve decided that I really enjoy being back home. Although I miss my lab mates, I think I might have missed them more had I spent most of my two years in the US actually in the lab. But the way things turned out, I worked mostly remotely, and I do that just as well (or actually better) now that I am back home.

How’s working remotely?

What’s different between being in the US and being back in Sweden? Most importantly, here the kids go to school, so I get more uninterrupted time to work. The kitchen is also better stocked with snacks I enjoy eating. So working while snacking is also more pleasurable. But added to that, I start working when most Stanfordians are already in bed, which means that when I need to use the cluster, there is usually enough available nodes for me so I can get my simulations running almost immediately. I’ve figured out that the best time to submit my calculations is between 6-8 am Stanford time. By that time, many jobs submitted the night before have finished and the field is wide open for me to do my stuff!

Preparing for the future

Apart from working remotely here, I’m also preparing for my next appointment. If all goes well I will continue my research here in Uppsala, Sweden. Last week I went to the university and got a tour of the department, including the room I will have almost exclusively to myself. I was told that I would be able to accept Masters Degree project students and I would get to teach, although it’s not yet determined which courses.

I also learned that I will have to start writing proposals immediately after I start, or even before I start. The only proposal I’ve written before was the one for the Wallenberg Postdoc Grant to Stanford (which was fortunately accepted), so on the one hand I feel a bit stressed, but on the other hand I also feel excited. One of these grants could mean the start of a larger research group, with postdocs and PhD students of my own, apart from the Masters Degree students! But the prospect of that is also burdensome. Do I really need PhD students or postdocs for my project? Not the current one, I’m pretty sure. So what kind of project should I conjure up to justify hiring people for more than a year?

The final stretch

I guess I need to think ahead more seriously, although at this point in time I would rather focus on finishing what I already started at Stanford. I have several projects going, not to mention writing up finished work. But I still have two months to go. And although sometimes two months can just fly by as it was just two days, sometimes it can also be a long time. Let’s hope that I will be able to do all the things I want to do in the time I have left!

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