In Germany and in the US, usually people apply for multiple positions then start to negotiate with the universities that give them offers. For example, if you're offered a position from A and B, you can tell A that you have another offer from B, and to choose A you'd need x and y and z because this would help you do the research you wish to do.

Is it the same in the in the UK? I've come across this post: How to negotiate the salary for a UK faculty position? in which one of the responses suggests that it might be insulting to negotiate the salary. But I wonder if it is the same for lab space, travel funding, etc..

So how are things done in the UK after the person has been offered multiple lectureships? I am talking about entry level lectureship (i.e., not senior lecturer, not reader, but rather "lecturer").

  • 1
    The accepted answer in the question you linked says "Brits find it insulting to negotiate a startup package and salary". So I'm guessing negotiating for anything is out of the question.
    – user9646
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 16:04
  • 4
    The time scales for new Lecturer appointments in the UK are much shorter than the ones in Germany. In addition, at least in my area, there are far less pronounced "hiring seasons" than in the US. This combines to make the situation where people have multiple active offers much less likely.
    – Arno
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


This varies a lot by university. Basically, the more famous ones know they have to compete with the USA. But traditionally, if you didn't accept a position once offered you had to pay them back for the travel for your interview! And you were expected to decide on the day of the interview, after the offer! So there is not much culture around offers at most universities.

One thing I'd strongly advise if you come in with a lot of experience is that asking for higher rank is more important than asking for more money. You will get shunted up the pay scale regardless (there are annual "point increases" to some ceiling) and if anything if you argue your way up early you may get penalised later with fewer "discretionary points." Though getting a more advanced rank than was advertised for may well be impossible these days too, there is a lot of anti-corruption legislation in place that blocks creative hiring.

If you are applying for a chair, ignore the above. Ask for absolutely everything you can think of. You are in your one true time and position of power. Parking places, studentships, accommodation, whatever you can imagine. Often the department wants you to get great stuff and will help you with this. In fact, in general (with or without a chair) once you have an offer your Head of Department is your ally; they really want you to come and they are helping you get resource off of the centre. So talk to them and maybe a couple other senior faculty in your new department. Foreign faculty might be particularly useful, especially from the system with which you are familiar, since they can translate better.

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