The following question is based mostly not on relevant personal experiences, but is largely inspired by reading here and there mentioning of the politics aspect in academia. At the present time, I am interested in this subject from practical perspective - as a recent Ph.D. graduate, looking for a postdoctoral or junior faculty position. Basically, the question that I am concerned about is:

  • Should I care about this issue at this point of my career?
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    i don't quite understand what you mean by politics? alliances between faculty regarding promotion, funding, hiring, the general direction of the department? political attitudes and ideology of faculty? how would this affect you? – henning -- reinstate Monica Jun 22 '15 at 19:33
  • @henning: Basically, by politics in academia I meant almost all issues that you've mentioned, perhaps, minus "the general direction" (I'd refer to that as strategy). I realize that my question is quite broad, if a comprehensive coverage would be asked, but I would be glad to see less detailed answer, mentioning main points. Per jakebeal's suggestion, I will split my question into 3-4 relevant questions. Hopefully, that will help in getting more focused answers. – Aleksandr Blekh Jun 22 '15 at 19:48
  • I have merged the answer from the related (closed) question into this one, where it seems to be most relevant. – ff524 Jun 22 '15 at 20:39
  • Voted to close as "too broad" (and upvoted @henning's comment). – Stephan Kolassa Jun 23 '15 at 4:05

I think you should not worry too much about the politics as they always exist everywhere and is kind of inevitable. You should try to stay away from the politics as much as possible. If you go for postdoc position then you should focus more on your research meanwhile maintaining friendly relation if not with everyone then at least most of your peers. Also having a nice and friendly relationship with your supervisor is highly recommended.

It would really be very hard to know about the group or departmental politics at the time of interview they all present everything in a goody way but still an estimation could be made if you are asked to give a presentation and in that presentation you get illogical or very absurd WHY questions especially from very senior persons then this might be an indication already on the politics prevalent in the department or group.

As I said earlier, politics is inevitable so this should not be a criteria for you to accept of reject a position. Moreover if you want to stay in academics then will have to face it sometime in future then why not now....

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  • Good points (+1) - thank you for your answer. – Aleksandr Blekh Jun 22 '15 at 19:13

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