I want to know the difference between associate and assistant professor in terms of contract length, status and salary. And also how both positions are published and what's the recruitment process of each one mainly in Europe and Canada? What about lecturer positions in the US, could European PhDs land lecturer position in the US ?


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    The positions are not standardised around the world, or even between institutions. Where are you asking about? Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 14:54
  • 2
    This may help: List of academic ranks.
    – GoodDeeds
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 14:57
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    Beware that Europe is not a uniform block: each country has its own recruiting processes and the statuses can vary too. Variations are possible also within a single country. Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 15:08
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    @Sam - few if any US universities I’m familiar with have a rank of ‘Lecturer’ - that seems more a British title.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 16:01
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    @JonCuster MANY US universities employ lecturers. It's a teaching appointment. That's what I have at University of Michigan. Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


Here in the US, an assistant professor is an entry-level tenure track appointment but does not come with tenure. An associate professor is the next level up and does come with tenure. Tenure track appointments virtually always require a PhD but not necessarily from a US institution.

A lecturer appointment is a teaching position, almost never comes with tenure, and does not necessarily require PhD, though it does usually require a master's at minimum.

A typical initial contract is three years.

Open positions are often but not always posted on the department website. Contact the department you're interested in for more info. Typically, you'll be asked to supply a CV, references, various statements describing your objectives, teaching philosophy and research interests, and possibly a teaching demonstration video. Obviously, all of this depends on the department.

  • Alright, and are the assistant professor position posted somewhere ? or do you have to contact the department for them ? what comes into play for the recruitment for this type of position ? (especially if the applicant is from outside the US)
    – Sam
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 19:43
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    @Sam Very dependent on institution.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 19:50
  • Also very dependent on the discipline. In some disciplines there are is a place where nearly all academic positions in the discipline are advertised (such as www.mathjobs.org for mathematics positions.) Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 21:45

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