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Suppose you want to obtain a faculty job at a particular time. When should you start searching for job ads? When are they advertised?

Answers describing different customs in different countries and disciplines are encouraged.

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In Operations Management, for US universities (or Canadian, European and Asian universities following the US system), most jobs are advertised in forums and websites (like Operations Academia, the INFORMS communities, the M&SOM forum, and the POMS society website) mostly from August to early October, for tenure-track jobs to begin on the following July to September. Our big conference, INFORMS, where the short interviews occur, is in late October or early November. Applications are due a couple weeks before this big conference. Most campus interviews occur from early December to late February, and most offers occur in February, but some offers are given in December and some are in late March. This is a field where there are almost as many tenure-track jobs as there are job market candidates, so we usually only go on the job market on our last year in the PhD program.

Now, this timeline varies hugely by field and country. (Even within my field there are huge variations, like late April job offers.)

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The field of academia is hypercompetitive due to the excess amount of PhD-students and Postdocs vs a low number of faculty positions (read this). Even people doing postdocs at top places have difficulties finding faculty positions and apart from a network also luck becomes an important factor if there are >100 applications for a faculty position.

Therefore you should start searching for a faculty position at least 2 years ahead (no, this is not a joke).

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    But don't apply for a job you couldn't accept because of start dates. You will just be an irritant. – Buffy Apr 27 at 10:31
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    @Buffy I think pretty much any well-meaning PI will let a postdoc go at any time if the postdoc gets a faculty position offer - so I would think that the start dates are not that much of an issue ... – lordy Apr 27 at 10:34
  • I think you mis-parsed the comment. – Buffy Apr 27 at 10:44
  • Explain it to me then ;-) – lordy Apr 27 at 11:22
  • While correct, I think this is too broad to be helpful. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 27 at 11:22
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In the United States, many permanent faculty jobs are advertised around September. Applications are due in December or January. The positions start in August, nearly a year after the position is advertised.

Lest prestigious universities advertise later. In some cases they may advertise only a few months before the job begins. Temporary jobs also have reduced lead-time.

Practices can vary widely.

  • As you mention, practices vary widely. I would recommend you mention what field you are talking about, because not all fields have similar timelines. – Anna SdTC Apr 27 at 22:54

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