Episode #186

Calming The Vicious Cycle Of Pubs And Grants

If you want to get grants, you need to have publications, but if you want to complete a publication, you need a grant. It is so frustrating when you feel stalled in a project. How do you get out of this vicious cycle?


Today’s episode explains how you can successfully move publications and grants forward without binge-writing, feeling overwhelmed, or overworking. Too often, academics look at the seasons of their career in terms of months or semesters. But professorship is decades long. When you start to look at cycles in 5-10-year chunks, you can regain control of the grant-pub cycle. Are you ready to learn how to orchestrate high-level projects? Let’s get started! 


Think of Your Career in 5-10-Year Chunks

Depending on your goals, a five-year chunk of your academic career will most likely focus on the following:

  • Grant getting
  • Data collection
  • Writing up data


Most of you won’t go through that cycle once a semester. We have to start looking at the seasonality of professorships in terms of years instead of months. If you want to advance your position, you cannot go full steam ahead on all three focuses. Choose one or two things and ramp up the energy in those specific areas. Putting all your effort into getting grants and publishing simultaneously is unrealistic and unsustainable. The way to get projects finished is to turn up the volume on one thing and turn the volume down on others. You have to be okay with letting extraneous tasks go.

How Do You Learn to Do This

Part of the Navigate program includes building a Writing Roadmap. A significant portion of the roadmap determines how you will orchestrate this flow of high-level multi-project management. Once you acquire these project management skills, you can control the cycle of pubs and grants. However, the process starts with being able to embrace seasonality. 


If you don’t think about seasonality, then you become paralyzed by trying to do everything at the same time. And I want you to ask yourself –  has this been effective for you to continue to think I have to do everything all the time? What happens when you do the buffet method, which is take a little taste of everything on the buffet without eating the whole meal, things don’t get finished. The only way to bring projects to completion is to turn up the volume on something while turning down the volume on other things.” 


“Embrace seasonality and understand that you are capable of orchestrating really long-term, high-level, complex project management as you develop your lines of research and manage that cycle of publications and grants.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist here.  



  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Get on the waitlist here!
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
  3. Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.





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