Okay, one of my respondents requested a synopsis of responses to my question
about whether being an R consultant is a viable idea. The responses were mixed.
One said that people overseas do this, another that grad student had put
themselves through school in this way by being written into grants; but another
expressed doubt that an ecologist could make a living doing it. One general
trend of replies was that it would not be as much of a time saver for the
client as I think, because the client would have to spend time thoroughly
explaining the project to the analyst, to ensure the right tests wre done on
the right data. On the other hand, there was a suggestion that perhaps it would
work in industry rather than academia; that I should look into the kinds of
statistics being done there.
Honestly, the reason I was interested in self employment was because my
experience in the job market is of getting rejection emails that say there were
more than 50 applicants for one position. Self employment sometimes feels like
my only prospect for employment. And the reason online employment appeals is
that it would let me use development gaps; i.e. survive by serving clients in
high paying countries, while residing in a low cost-of-living country. The
suggestion that I should conduct a marketing survey using one of those online
survey engines was a useful one, and that is my next step.
Thank you to all who replied.