Update/follow up: Can this have something to do with the specific rank? I mean, does it make sense to require this for the rank of Assistant professor for some reason? Link for the posting: http://cra.org/job/umass_lowell-assistantassociate-professor-computer-science-2-positions/

I was checking some postings from cra.org, and found this remark:

For appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, by the time of appointment, applicants must either have a PhD degree from a US university, or have at least one year as a post-doctoral researcher in a US university or US research lab.

However, I didn't find that in other postings. Is this unusual or so common that isn't usually spelled out?

  • 4
    This is the first time I've ever seen such a requirement.
    – JeffE
    Nov 1 '15 at 23:51
  • 1
    Do you know how the position is funded? It might be a stipulation of the funding source as a way to ensure that the money is used for local talent or to re-attract those trained in the US (rather than incoming researchers), depending on the funding source's objective.
    – user38309
    Nov 2 '15 at 6:15

This is a bizarre requirement that I have never seen and sounds unwise to me, except maybe for a position requiring specific U.S.-centric expertise, e.g. a search for a law school faculty member specializing in U.S. constitutional law (even then, requiring a U.S. PhD/postdoc sounds to me like the wrong way to ensure that the candidate possesses the relevant expertise). And no, I do not see why it should matter that this is an Assistant Professor position.

Based on my experience with bizarre/illogical rules at organizations, I'm guessing that what happened is that the department that is requiring this at one time had a really bad experience hiring someone without a U.S. background, and after that someone there decided to make sure that that particular mistake would not be repeated, no matter how many good opportunities that would mean missing out on.

Note that while I think this is a silly requirement, at many U.S. universities a tenure-track candidate who has no U.S. teaching experience could reasonably be considered by some people to be less competitive than another candidate who possesses such experience, all other things being equal. But this judgment call does not require a special rule, since being well qualified to teach to the standards of the university is already a requirement of the job.

  • 1
    I found the job ad. It is for computer science TT job. You can confirm it by reading the Minimum Qualification section.
    – Nobody
    Nov 2 '15 at 6:58
  • @scaaahu yes, I guessed it was for a CS job since that is OP's field, but tried to answer the question in the generality in which it was posted.
    – Dan Romik
    Nov 2 '15 at 7:49

Prior experience working in a particular country is a sufficiently specialized requirement that it cannot be "implicitly assumed." Such requirements should appear in every such position to which it applies. (Personally, I have only seen such requirements posted for positions outside the US, with the requirement being one or more years abroad, not specifically in the US.)


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