I have been meeting with various people all over the university, from professors in geology, social science, education, and earth science, to people in the Teaching Support Center, other education specialists, and someone from human resources. Each person I met with gave me a list of at least 2-3 more people to meet with, and it has been incredibly interesting and tiring at the same time.
Finally I met with a professor in earth science, and she offered me a post-doc position. The research is in earthquake science, and it sounds like it could be really interesting. I was just about at the point where I was going to email her to accept the position when I decided to contact one last person (another professor).
I had been in contact with this professor throughout the last few months. He has applied for funding for an outreach program, which would include a salary for a program coordinator. I have basically been offered this position, but of course it all depends on the funding coming through (hence "pseudo offer" in the title).
Now, there's a pretty good chance that the program (and position) will be funded. Even though I think the post-doc position would be interesting, this one is right up my alley since I want to take my career in the outreach/education direction.
So, you're probably thinking "What's the problem, then?" Well, the professor with the post-doc wants me to let her know my decision my mid-December. The other professor won't know about the funding for the outreach program until mid-to-end-December (we're hoping before Christmas).
I've already let the first professor know that I'm waiting to hear about another opportunity before I make my final decision, but the clock is ticking. So, what's a girl to do? Should I just try to hold off until I hear about the funding for the outreach thing? What should I tell the first professor if she asks me for a decision? I don't want to accept that job, only to have the funding come through for the second. But, should I turn down the post-doc in the hopes that the second one will pan out?
In my heart I know what I want to do, but my head is telling me something else. Thoughts?