I received exciting news last week. I’ve been applying for funding for my research on men opting out and on the new meanings of work, and finally funding has been granted! Not only that, I got the mother of all funding: three years full-time funding from the Academy of Finland, which in Finland is a really big deal. In fact, it’s only just starting to sink in.
To be able to focus full-time on research is a dream for any academic, and for me it’s especially amazing since this is what I’ve been planning ever since I started working on my PhD several years ago. I want to research opting out as a societal phenomenon, not just a women’s phenomenon, I want to be the first (as far as I know) to include men in the discussion on opting out, and I want to be involved in uncovering and creating new definitions and solutions for work. This is the future and it’s happening now!
I think one of the things that worked in my favor in this round of applications was that I have already started this research. I was frustrated last year when I couldn’t seem to convince funders of the importance of this topic, so I decided to start interviewing men on their opting out experiences anyway without funding because I knew this is what I wanted to do. As a result I’ve already conducted about 10 pilot interviews and could share preliminary impressions and results in my application.
So if there is one learning to take away from this, it is that if there is something you really want to do, don’t wait for permission, just do it!
I’m going to miss teaching though, I was just getting into it and I really liked it. But you win some and you lose some, and in this case the win is pretty amazing. Post-doc research project, here I come!
Oh right, and I also need more men to interview. So if you are a man who has opted out to adopt a new lifestyle or way of working, or if you know of someone who is and who would be willing to be interviewed, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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