What is the cost/benefit analysis for a Post-Doc taking a position as an interim professor?

Some costs I can think of: High teaching workload. Current projects suffer and a gap in publication record may result.

Some Benefits: Higher salary during interim position. The value of adding the position to your CV.

  • There may be some possibility of getting considered for the permanent job?
    – user24098
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:14
  • 3
    Note that in many cases research post-docs are paid better than visiting assistant professors. Another reason for taking a VAP position is that it is a way to gain teaching experience. In many cases, people take such positions because they're the only positions available. Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:49
  • You really should make your question more specific. These kinds of analyses can't be made seriously in the abstract. IMHO.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


The answer will depend on many individual factors. Some positive aspects are:

  • The university gets to know you. I know of several interim professors who got a full professorship later on because everyone was satisfied with the person.
  • You are gaining teaching experience. This is an important factor if you want to apply for a professorship.
  • Related, but slightly different: You build up a teaching portfolio. If you are becoming a professor later, you are already having some material at hand.
  • You are getting in contact with motivated students which you can involve in your research activities.
  • Last but not least: Teaching can be fun :-).

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