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February 25, 2016

Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science | Volume 3 | SCI-NEWS 6

In effort to pad CV, postdoc requests that all birthday presents be given as ‘grants’

EL PASO, TX – As the academic job season enters crunch time, desperate post-docs are resorting to extreme measures to augment their curriculum vitae. One such intrepid scientist is Blaine Matthews, a third-year postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Science at the University of Texas, El Paso, who has beefed up his “Grants Received” section by asking his friends and family to give birthday gifts in the form of ‘research grants’.

The process is simple. Before his birthday party, Matthews asks his friends to give him a grant application complete with synopsis, instructions, and even eligibility requirements (Matthews insists that one of the requirements of the grant is that the applicant must be named “Blaine Matthews”). Matthews then fills out the application and is then able to declare any received gift as grant money or research supplies funded by a grant.

After a couple years of this scheme, Matthews’ CV looks extremely impressive. “I’ve increased the number of grants on my CV by 500%,” said Matthews. “My Funded Grants section is literally three pages long.”

Some of the grants that Matthews has received from his friends include:

• The Young Brah Investigators Award (a gift consisting of a Stella Artois beer glass, which was claimed as ‘laboratory supplies’ and a $25 gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings, which was claimed as a ‘research stipend’)
• An Arts and Science Interdisciplinary Travel Grant (which were tickets to see a Flaming Lips concert in Austin)
• The Lucky Chance Seed Grant (a gift of 10 scratch-off lottery tickets)

Unfortunately, Matthews has yet to be contacted for a phone interview.


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