a plea for understanding

I have had a number of requests for what is essentially free help on projects since I left academia.

Some I don’t mind – they are projects I was close to completion on when in academia and the remaining work is small. Others are methodologically interesting.

However, please don’t embarrass us both by asking for any non-trivial stuff for free. I am a consultant now. I need income from the work and the support I provide.

I don’t really like to talk about my family circumstances but truth be told they aren’t good. Whilst family support (and that from friends here in Nottingham) is good for ensuring no more severe deteriorations in my mental health, moving here was for a second reason. My Dad is 65 and can’t afford to retire from the family business – when I am not doing consultancy I intend to help streamline procedures in his business so he can employ a manager and retire, to live off the (currently non-existent) profits. In the meantime I will be providing practical, and perhaps financial support.

We don’t come from a well-off family. I was the first member of my family to go to university.

I know times are tough for everyone, but I know for a fact, having seen it from the other side, that there are serious amounts of cash sloshing around for big preference elicitation studies. Some of these use established methods and there is no reason on earth you should be paying me to provide input. Other are not. And if you want to avoid some horrific mistakes that essentially wasted millions of Euros of money (that I have noted in published articles with giants of the field) then I’m your man. But please, to use the Australian expression, gimme a fair go will ya?