I applied for a postdoctoral position, and I got an email from hiring committee :

"Thank you for applying ~ positions. All positions have been filled. But we have been authorized to fill a Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) position starting ~. If you are interested in being considered for this new position, please let me know ASAP."

Is this a gentle letdown? Or is it means that there's a high chance for me to get an offer for VAP?

  • 65
    It means precisely what it says. It’s a mistake to read anything into it that isn’t stated explicitly. They are encouraging you to apply to the VAP position, and will consider you if you apply.
    – Dan Romik
    Mar 10, 2022 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


It means that there is some chance for you to get the visiting position. As opposed to "go away, no chance".

I'd wager that it's not clear what your chances are, but that there are some chances... Better a visiting position than no job, I think.

  • 7
    @cgb5436 VAP (visiting assistant Professor) may be not as long as a postdoc 1 or 2 years vs 3 years. Otherwise it is the same.
    – markvs
    Mar 10, 2022 at 1:22
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    @ cgb5436 In my experience, a VAP has a higher teaching load than a postdoc, most of the time. There are many exceptions. Mar 10, 2022 at 1:30
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    @cgb5436, a Vis. Asst. Prof position may only be for a single year, and will probably tend to have a higher teaching load than a "postdoc". A postdoc is for two or three years, and supposedly designed to help the person's research program, with a reduced teaching load. Mar 10, 2022 at 1:49
  • 4
    Thank you so much for your answer. And Yes the postdoc position was for 3 years with a reduced teaching load.
    – Jib
    Mar 10, 2022 at 2:33
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    @chessofnerd I just applied. Thank you for your advice!
    – Jib
    Mar 10, 2022 at 20:56

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