I have a TT offer which includes removing 2.5 years from my tenure clock, the amount of time I have spent in my first postdoc. The papers and grants from the postdoc would be considered by my tenure committee at the new institution.

My teaching and service commitments will go up after tenure, and I have observed and read here about why faculty often are unhappy after gaining tenure.

So , is this really a benefit?


Getting tenure is (technically and in actuality) a promotion and comes with at least one benefit (not easily getting fired) and usually there is a (modest) pay jump. Whether you consider these benefits against the additional responsibilities that tenured faculty have (especially in terms of administrative/service work) is up to you.

A shortened tenure clock could be a good thing as it gets you that promotion sooner. It could also be stressful if you're at a place where the tenure hurdle is clear and you don't think you'll make it (e.g. 7 peer reviewed articles when you have only 2 in the bag and will only get 3 more done by tenure-time)

The best would be to have the option of coming up early -- but also the ability to delay your tenure bid and return to normative time -- but also retaining the ability to count all of your materials from your postdoc period in your tenure bid. There may be resistance to this, though, as it might be seen as having your cake and eating it too.

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    "7 peer-reviewed articles": I wish that were the total required. . . . – aeismail May 25 '18 at 3:47
  • @aeismail In my experience, this would be a typical requirement for a social sciences person at a lower ranked R1 and a bit high for an R2. OP doesn’t give a subject area. – Dawn May 25 '18 at 8:16
  • ... Although now I see from the other posts by this user that the subject area is engineering. – Dawn May 25 '18 at 8:25
  • Yes, I am in an engineering field. Tenure requirements seen to be readily achievable, given that the papers, et. from my postdoc will be admissable in – Industrademic May 25 '18 at 12:06
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    I've seen a situation in which someone negotiated for a shorter tenure period and then didn't make it. It wasn't a nice situation at all. In general, you're better off taking the entire period or applying for tenure early if/when your committee thinks you're ready. – Brian Borchers May 25 '18 at 19:53

What field/country are you in? If you're in an area where early-career grants are important, a shorter tenure-clock can limit your access to those.

For the US:

The NSF CAREER grants, have a restriction that you can't submit to the annual summer call if you are due to be tenured before the following October.

Department of Defense Young Investigator grants are a mixed bag, but with less emphasis on tenure status: DARPA allows fall applications into the third year of tenure, Army and Air Force allow applications up to 5 years after PhD (counting post-doc time), and Navy allows applications up to 5 years into your position (with no consideration of where you are in the tenure process).

  • Engineering, in the USA. I actually already have an early career grant, relieved as a research scientist. – Industrademic May 25 '18 at 12:07

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