One of the disadvantages of working in academia is that there is so much excellence around that it can be difficult to get recognition for our achievements. Yes, we live in a world of metrics (whatever they are!) and KPI (key performance indicators), which mean that various successes are counted somewhere along the line but it is rare for somebody to come along and say “wow, you’ve done a great job” or a plain simple “thank you”. Years come and go, grants and papers accumulate, but there’s much of worth that goes unnoticed. This year, though, things are different for those of us blessed to be working on MILESTONE…in April we learned that we’d been nominated for the University staff awards (i.e. university OSCARS!) by our wonderful colleagues in the dissemination team (the people who have been encouraging us to write this blog, perform a TEDx talk, etc). Well, the news was met with the usual dilemma - what should we wear? The brief said to prepare for an evening of glamour…but I for one (being a typical introverted scientist) don’t even possess that type of clothing (you don’t need “going out” clothes if you never go out!!) So I rocked up (if we can call it that!) in my usual work attire – black trousers, GAP shirt - hoping I’d be invisible. Why did I stupidly think “dull boring” would make me invisible? In that party crowd? All I probably did was draw attention to myself…in a rather negative way.
Thankfully, the rest of the team made rather more effort…here’s a photo of them looking all happy and handsome (with me hiding at the back).
Anyway, we didn’t win…but we did get “Highly Commended”, which was more than we expected and quite an achievement given that we have not yet delivered many of the things we’re planning to do. Next year, hopefully, we be nominated again and win.
In the meantime, I have a question for you…how would you like us to tell you the results of the MILESTONE project, especially the randomised trial?