It’s no secret that part of the reason I was recruited is because funding is extra tight these days and an industry connection can only help (unless that industry connection is Bernie Madoff). I’ve secured one small local grant from a nonprofit, but more importantly, a rather sizable (not R01, but pretty nice) chunk from my old employer (I’ll talk about this later).
There wasn’t any direct pressure on me before securing this money: the other faculty and higher-ups didn’t ever mention it, but they always dropped semi-subtle hints. Now that I have the money coming in they’re asking all sorts of questions about institute and student sponsorship. This is on top of other faculty members (my pseudopeers) pitching this or that idea to me hoping I’ll come on board and relay them to my old employer.
My concern in all of this is that if I don’t deliver the money as a co-PI for some other faculty members they’ll lost respect for me. My pedigree already isn’t that of my surrounding colleagues and I’m certain some of them are thinking I was only brought in because I did reasonably well in industry. So if I don’t deliver on the flood of cash for everyone, then maybe they will care for me even less (there’s some upspeak in that sentence as I read it to myself)? I don’t really give a shit, because if I constantly cared what people thought then I wouldn’t have time to be so awesome.
I kind of wish it would’ve been more difficult to get this first round of industry funding so I could just say “Look, I barely got it, and they know me. So don’t get your hopes up.”