I work at a small liberal arts college, where I teach and do research. The balance can be difficult; the teaching is quite demanding so getting research done is challenging. During the school year my efforts are focused on teaching and the summers are when I can get more research done. With any job there are always things that could be better, but I have enjoyed being at Vassar since I got here in 2007. I just spent several days at the ASV (American Society for Virology) meeting in Minneapolis, where I reunited with several friends, met new people, and gained a greater appreciation for the great job that I have!
First, just having a job is good, let alone one that is exactly what I wanted. I met many post docs seeking and failing to find positions. I met researchers that want to teach but can’t due to the lack of opportunities at their institutions, or simply aren’t allowed to. I met researchers who are completely dependent on grant money for the continued existence of their position. With the current state of funding, that is certainly not a position I would want to find myself in.
The nature of my position is very different from most other virologists. I imagine there are other virologists at liberal arts colleges but I only met one at ASV. In addition to posts on cool things in virology, and posts by students, I will start adding posts on my experiences doing virology research and teaching at a liberal arts college