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I am soon to complete a PhD and am quite interested in teaching roles. I have been doing some ad hoc teaching as a lecturer in my university, and quite enjoyed it. I apparently have done a pretty decent job.

I don't think it is likely that I'll be able to obtain a full-time academic position (as assistant professor/professor) as just having a PhD is unlikely to be sufficient qualification for such a role. I'm not even 100% sure this is the career that I permanently want to pursue.

In the meantime I would like a meatier teaching role (perhaps something with an actual contract). I have heard of the position of 'teaching fellow' and of someone who was apparently hired to such a position, but I've never seen any advertisements for these roles.

The area of my PhD is Computer Science, but I would also be very interested in teaching outside of this field (for instance in Business in the field of Information Management). This makes the task of finding such teaching positions very difficult.

The ad-hoc positions that I've obtained have come from personal contacts, and while a good resource, it's one that I've pretty much exhausted. People who already have had ad-hoc positions are looked at with suspicion by administration, as you can obtain workers' rights if you are kept in ad-hoc positions long enough (at least in my country). This makes people who don't personally know you less likely to want to run the gauntlet of administration to have you hired. Finally, people in the discipline of Humanities or Business are probably going to be somewhat hostile to someone from Computer Science muscling in on their territory. That my skill-set would be suited to positions in both these disciplines would only exacerbate this.

How might it be possible to overcome this significant hurdle? How can I get academics, who have never heard of me and have nothing vested in my employment, and for whom I may cause a bit of hassle, actually consider me for a teaching position?

  • Is this in the US? Or where? – Buffy Jun 22 '19 at 14:45
  • @Buffy in the UK – Stumbler Jun 22 '19 at 14:47
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First a remark: you don't seem to even consider postdoc positions, is this a choice? These are research positions of course, but this is by far the most common way for a recent PhD graduate to start an academic career, possibly applying for assistant professor positions later on if this is something that you consider doing.

As far as I know, what you are looking for is called (full-time) lecturer position in the British Isles academic system (I'm in Ireland myself). These positions are not very common but I've seen a few being advertised from time to time, that could depend on the institution. They are probably a bit competitive (though less than assistant professor jobs), so you might need to strengthen your teaching record first. For that the best way is to contact every department you know asking them if they have any short-term teaching needs paid by the hour that you could fill. In my experience it's quite common for CS departments to be under-staffed so there's a decent chance you'll find something.

  • This is a good answer. To answer your question I'm coming to the end of a PhD which is leaving me a bit tired of research at the moment. I'm tired of the project I'm working on, and of academic writing, and I still have an uncomfortable amount of that ahead of me yet. As such I'm not rushing to get into a position which is just that all over again. I may reconsider in the future, but taking up such a thing the week after submitting a thesis? Hm. – Stumbler Jun 22 '19 at 20:52
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    Fair enough. Just so you know, It's very common to be bored (if not depressed) with one's research at the end of the PhD, sometimes we see things differently after a good time off ;) Anyway good luck! – Erwan Jun 22 '19 at 22:30

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