I have struggled to get a permanent lecturing position in the location I want. I am location restricted due to the current COVID 19 situation. My long term goal is to get a permanent lecturing role.

So my question is: Is hourly paid lecturing a viable route to achieve this goal?

A bit of background. I have a PhD and I am on my second postdoc. I have published >20 high quality papers so I am not too worried about my research experience. I just need to get more teaching experience.


  • Can you add your country to this? The answer may vary widely.
    – Jeff
    Aug 24 '20 at 11:01
  • 2
    I have relocated back to Ireland. My postdocs were in the USA and UK. Both in highly reputable universities.
    – John
    Aug 24 '20 at 11:04
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    It is extremely risky. Aug 24 '20 at 11:33
  • Do you consider hourly paid teaching alongside your postdoc or as your next step after the postdoc term is over? Aug 24 '20 at 11:35
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    Yes, hourly paid can lead to full time. Depends on the person and the post and the head or manager... The risk of not taking any hours can be no money...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 24 '20 at 11:58

I would personally not do this.

  1. The world is cruel so why should the institution you are at right now offer you a permanent position when they can get you are a discounted rate?
  2. The perspective could change if you knew for certain that a position was to open in the near future, but even then I doubt you would just be “gifted” the position: there would likely be a formal competition with no guarantee that you actually get the job.
  3. Indeed coming back to 1., if a position is open but the locals know you’re willing to stay, why would they hire you if a position comes open when you’ll still be around anyways? They could get 2 for the price of 1 by hiring someone else if a position comes open.

Where I work contract lecturers have some sort of protection against outright exploitation (after a few years they have the right to first refusal) but these very very rarely get transformed into permanent positions.

Not that I agree with this way of treating people as human commodities, but then again... it would not be the first time the scenarios above actually happen.

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