Following up on my previous question (Academic Progression via Promotion vs via Recruitment), where I wanted to apply for an assistant professor position at a university where I am currently a postdoc. The HR advice then was that I cannot do that as an external applicant and that I need to apply for promotion next year. For more background please see my original question.

Last week I discovered that a couple of the potential candidates for this position are actually postdocs in a similar situation as mine, and already work for the same university. They are going to give presentations to the staff next week (This is how I knew). This implies that the HR advice to me was not accurate or something odd has happened. I contacted HR for explanation but didn't receive back.

I missed out on this opportunity due to false advice from HR which is not fair. What are my options?


This, and your earlier question, seem to be very localized. I think that you need to handle it locally. Go back to HR with your new evidence and seek new advice. Challenge it if necessary. Go to whomever is responsible for the new position with whatever advice you get from HR along with your new evidence and ask for advice there. If it is at all unfavorable, ask for an exception.

It is possible that there is nothing more than a lack of communication or a misinterpretation of rules. But you won't get out of your trap without bringing it to everyone's attention.

Perhaps you will just learn how the other cases are not the same as yours. But perhaps you can get the gears unstuck with a bit of jiggling.

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    "Go back to HR with your new evidence and seek new advice." --- And, if any of this misinformation was sent to the OP by email, he/she will definitely want to bring printed copies of the emails when going back to HR. – Dave L Renfro Aug 25 '18 at 16:27
  • @DaveLRenfro, absolutely. – Buffy Aug 25 '18 at 16:28
  • Buffy and @DaveLRenfro: Thanks both. I did receive the initial advice by email, and I have contacted the HR person for an explanation, which I have not received yet. I expect a "sorry I wasn't accurate with my advice" but then what? I missed on the opportunity already and the deadline has passed. Probably by next week the position is filled. – ThunderDownUnder Aug 26 '18 at 2:51
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    "I have contacted the HR person for an explanation, which I have not received yet" --- I'm not sure how long you plan to wait, but for something as time sensitive as this I would have visited them in person (with paper copies of email to support my claim) within a few hours of not getting a reply to a follow-up email asking for an explanation. Actually, I probably would have visited them in person right away instead of sending such a follow-up email, unless I had duties (classes to teach, office hours, necessary lab time, etc.) that would have delayed me for a few hours. – Dave L Renfro Aug 26 '18 at 8:24
  • @DaveLRenfro I did go and they implicitly confessed there was a mistake. They cannot fix it as it's too late, so I'm to demand an apology and an investigation on why this happened. – ThunderDownUnder Aug 29 '18 at 7:23

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