On the road to independence
After spending almost 4 years in the US as a postdoctoral fellow, I returned to Sweden without an accepted paper from my postdoctoral research. I lived through a couple of nerve wrecking weeks before the journal accepted our revised version of the manuscript and agreed to publish the work, and my new, but also very familiar, life in Stockholm could begin. 2015 was spent applying for research funding, writing ethical permits, re-deriving mouse lines and all other administrative work absolutely required to have in place in case someone, somewhere, decided to approve my grant application.
And finally, one day at 10.02 I started getting congratulation emails from friends and colleagues. The Ragnar Söderberg Foundation approved my project and suddenly everything changed. Ideas and plans had to be realized, equipment and plastics purchased, people (the right people…!) hired - ideally at the same time as new experiments and new methods should start to pan out. However, by now I believe we climbed the first of many peaks of “getting things to work”, and are on the way to establish a functional and hopefully productive research environment.
I feel very grateful and relieved to have the luxury of being able to plan five years ahead, knowing that the funding is there. But most of all - exited! There are so many interesting and important questions out there waiting for an answer, and the prospect of unveiling some of these answers is enough to keep me going back to work every morning. As much as science is serious, time consuming and exhausting it is also so very fun and rewarding, and I hope that my fun will be able to persist in an ever-changing world of science.