After completion of my PhD, there are two options open for me: one is temporary positions in academic institutions and other is Postdoc. I see that most of the regular faculty jobs require a minimum of three years of research or teaching experience. Thus, for getting a regular job, I need have three years in hand.

I joined as a temporary position in one institute, and the period is over now. As I have experienced, there is little scope of doing research in a temporary position and heavy academic load (such as teaching classes 4-6 hours daily) causes a lack of time for research. Also, getting a regular supervision for students is tough because it is a temporary position. Despite this, I worked hard after office hours, and published a couple of research papers in top journals and conferences in collaboration with some foreign researchers. It drains out a lots of energy to balance between job search, teaching class, and publishing papers with lack of research facilities.

In contrast, I think that it might be better to move into a postdoc. So, how good or bad is it to do a postdoc of 2-3 years duration, with the aim of getting good publications and good jobs in academic institutions?

  • @Mithun, What country are you talking about? Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 14:12
  • 1
    @Mithun So, is your question: "Will a good postdoc help me get a long-term faculty position?" The answer is "Yes." Not sure what else you're asking...
    – jakebeal
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 15:14
  • @jakebeal Yes, I am asking this question. However, I am new in academic ocean after completion of PhD. I don't know whether a Postdoc with a reasonable publications is better than temporary jobs in academic institution with teaching experience of same duration?
    – Mithun
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 15:26
  • @Mithun I've edited your question in an attempt to improve clarity, as best I understand what you are asking. Please feel free to further improve and to correct anything that I've gotten wrong in my edits.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 15:54
  • @jakebeal Thanks for edit. It is easy to follow than previous version.
    – Mithun
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


If you want to obtain a long-term faculty position, at least in the United States, it is usually better to get a postdoc position rather than an adjunct lecturer position.

Perhaps it should not be this way, but the practical fact is that at present adjunct lecturers are often treated as interchangeable exploited labor. Yes, you will build up teaching experience, but as you have found, it will be difficult to extend any of the other job qualifications that are needed for obtaining a good long-term faculty positions. There can also be a stigma associated with these positions: it is unfair, but these positions (and by extension the people who fill them) are often viewed with such disrespect that they are paid poverty-level wages---about half of the average for postdocs.

A postdoctoral position, on the other hand, is unlikely to give you teaching experience, but will allow you to focus on building your reputation for intellectual excellence (e.g., via strong publications). Rightly or wrongly, this is generally a much stronger factor in faculty hiring than evidence of teaching ability.

  • 1
    As an Adjunct Lecturer (but not in the US), I can definitely agree with this answer.
    – user41783
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 16:22
  • 2
    Your second paragraph paints a very gory picture for these adjunct positions. Nevertheless, sad, but true.
    – 299792458
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 18:20

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