Monday, 1 February 2010

It's getting brutal out there

Not the greatest Monday so far.

I woke to two pieces of news on Radio Four's Today Programme: first, higher education spending is set to be slashed in the UK - never good news for a research student, especially one lacking in funding; and second, that in the US, President Obama aims to cut back NASA's budget to the point where its plans to revisit the moon must be in jeopardy. Neither piece of news was much good for my PhD - not least since part of the justification for the work was to provide an insight on how NASA/the Administration needs to act to ensure public support for a new moon race.

I suppose there are two ways to take such news: the first is to stick one's head in the sand and plough on as if nothing's happened. The second is to look at how I can raise the money to fund the next few years' necessary research trips. I've taken that second route.

I've started to mail out requests for sponsorship using my updated research outline to try and attract interest. I'm targeting firms that I've worked with in the past (rather than the supremely unsuccessful cold calls that have produced nothing to date).

I may hit another brick wall, but it at least feels that I'm doing something positive.

Anyway, staying on that positive note, I'm looking forward to speaking to NASA-turned-Smithsonian historian Roger Launius on Friday. He has the inside track that I've yet to reach and has been very generous in his time and interest in me to date. It'll be good to put a real person to the email contacts.

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