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It's official - I don't exist!

OK, so I'm off to Perth soon to take up a new job, and in the meantime I'm still doing my old job. Even though my contract has ended, I'm still working and still getting paid on a fees basis, so I am still working for the University. Unfortunately, it seems that someone has actually been efficient for a change and removed me from the staff directory, deleting my email account at the same time. That was nice of them. So, as far as the University is concerned, I no longer exist.

What is the problem, you might ask. Well, when scientists publish papers or go to a conference, they use their email address as a contact. Often, you are working with collaborators overseas so email is vital in order to stay in contact and exchange information. What usually happens when someone changes jobs is that their old email account gets used as a forwarding service to a new account at the new employer, so you don't lose any email and you keep your contacts. So, as you can imagine, this has caused me a bit of a headache.

What was worse is that they gave me no warning what-so-ever, and people who I know left the University in excess of five years ago are still listed and still have working accounts! Charming. I'm trying to get it reinstated, but (even with the head of the department involved) it's taken nearly a week to get this far. Argh.

Posted by Megan on Tuesday 29th Apr 2008 (10:17 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

Visa - granted!

Well, four months after I accepted the job, my visa has been granted. In a few weeks I will be heading to Perth, WA, for a three-year post as an astronomer. It's the first time I've worked away from where I grew up so it's going to be a big change, but hopefully an exciting adventure and I'm hoping to learn a lot while I'm there.

My job involves researching the nature of starburst galaxies - galaxies which for one reason or another have undergone a widespread and rapid burst of star formation - as well as working on the development of the Square Kilometre Array, a new telescope which is to be built either in South Africa or Western Australia. I'm also going to be involved with public outreach there, participating in the "indigenous astronomy" project as part of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

I love astronomy (in case it wasn't obvious), and I've always known that I'd have to move overseas at some point if I persued it as a career, but now that I've actually reached that point I'm really nervous about it! I'm going there on my own, leaving behind a lot of close family and friends, as well as my boyfriend. It's going to take some time to get used to being so far away.

Posted by Megan on Friday 18th Apr 2008 (18:23 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

The Arthurs

Well, the Jodcast was nominated for an Arthur, but we didn't actually win. The award ceremony was on Saturday but no one from the team could actually get there in the end (bad timing - it's the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) in Belfast all this week and some of the team are there) and the website was updated with the winners today. We were nominated in the "Best

TV/Radio Presentation" category alongside Martin Redfern and Heather Couper (for "Britain's Space

Race") and Quentin Cooper (who presents "The Material World" on BBC Radio 4). We lost out to Martin Redfern and Heather Couper in the end, well done to them.

Posted by Megan on Wednesday 02nd Apr 2008 (15:20 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

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