Thank you, SfN, but I do have a computer.
Looking back, it was probably naive of me to imagine that SfN would be doing any kind of concrete matchmaking, or that search committee members would be taking time out of their busy conference schedules to meet with potential candidates. NeuroJobs "live" is likely more suited to people looking for post-doc positions than faculty positions, especially those in town from abroad who can't all be flown in for a job talk. I hope it works out for them. *sniff*
Some other items of note:
- I took PhysioProf's advice and did not seek out faculty from departments I've applied to, at risk of looking like a brown-nosing, shameless self-promoter. I did, however, tell just about everyone I ran into that I was OtM, which led to some very interesting conversations, some of which will be turned into full blog posts. One PI in my field whom I've known for several years responded that she wished her department had an opening for me, but that they weren't currently hiring. This of course
was probablycould have been an empty nicety, but it certainly beat a sarcastic "heh--good luck with that," so it made me feel good.
- I also took DrugMonkey's advice and stopped by the NIMH booth to talk with the Program Officer for my K99 application that is under review right now. I unfortunately caught her as she was leaving to meet with someone important-looking and didn't get to do much but introduce myself, but I hope that even that will provide the tiniest glimmer of happy recognition when funding decisions are made. According to a grad school friend who now works as a Review Officer, the best thing I can do is wait until my score comes, and if it seems potentially borderline start communicating with my PO to see if there's anything I can do to bump it into funding range. This is especially important for me because K99 applicants can't have been a post-doc for more than 5 years, and if I don't get funded this time around, that's it for me. I'm too old. Past my prime. Over the hill. Waaah. (As an aside, it's not exactly clear when "being a post-doc" officially starts. Is it the day you defend your thesis? The day you begin work in your post-doc lab? The day you receive your PhD from your institution? The order of these events is not always the same. Anyone know?)
*this is me remaining upbeat and optimistic, despite certain conversations had at the meeting...stay tuned.
PS--one thing that I thought was a big SfN WIN was the #sfn09 Twitter-fest. I loved seeing everyone's sciency thoughts throughout the day; it was endless 140-character fun.