Yesterday I submitted the first of seven PhD applications and began the long committee process that that entails. Most of these applications are due in December/January and are decided in March or so. Now, I"m not only applying for admission which is difficult in itself, but also for a teaching or research assistantship which would provide a small stipend and cover tuition. If accepted, I would begin in August 2011 and it would probably take 4-6 years.
On the other front, we received a cryptic message from the Peace Corps this morning saying our application status had changed. What does this mean? Have we been rejected? Well we looked up our status and we've been nominated! Unfortunately it doesn't say where to, but we expect our recruiter will contact us soon with the geographic region. From there we can look up which countries in the region have the programs that we have experience in and make some educated guesses from there. If accepted, we'll receive our invitation in June 2011, probably and leave in August or September 2011. This brings up two possible conflicts. First, we would likely extend my three-year absence from US-based birthday parties, I haven't been in the United States for my birthday since 2007! Secondly, and slightly more importantly, we have the possibility of being accepted to both Peace Corps and PhD programs, in this situation we'll judge our options and offers to make a decision. I think we can't go wrong with either one, so it'll be a welcome conflict.
A major theme of my life since late July has been applications to jobs for the time between then and August 2011, it's a difficult stretch because most jobs require a year contract and some expect longer term contracts. I've been finding jobs on Idealist.org and SustainableFoodJobs.wordpress.com and yesterday I was offered a position with a prominent NGO in Cambridge! The organization does research on the social impact and economic efficiency of non-profits and provides recommendations for donors. I will be serving as a research fellow and contribute to their research and writing of final reports. Best of all, the postion starts in January and lasts through July, just before August!
As I said, things are taking shape and we're excited to see our next two years come into focus. I'm especially happy to be offered the job in Cambridge! It should be good for my resume and most importantly it seems like a job that I'll enjoy and that will challenge me.
More news to come once we get word from our Peace Corps recruiter.