I am an academia person having some good publication records. It seems that I may need to spend most of my time in writing proposal if I join as a university faculty in North America.

I have reservations on two aspects of the proposal writing:


Does a proposal evaluate the true skill of the candidate? My answer (with high probability) is No. This is because, if the candidate is an excellent one, his knowledge is exploited in several of his past academic records. The first is his publication record (especially from the reputable journals). This record (along with the review comments) will almost show the true skill of the candidate. And I did not see a reason to ask the candidate to submit an extra cover letter (proposal).

To my knowledge, the proposal is the very important component for funding. And I am not aware of any colleague getting funding just by submitting his/her CV?

Please note that if the idea of the proposal is shiny (evaluated by experts in the same area only), it should be publishable as a technical paper.

Evaluation Method:

It is known that funding agencies require proposals to provide support for research. However, most of the evaluators of the proposal are not working in the same research area, and in most cases they fail to understand the true contribution of the proposal especially if it is a deep rooted concept. Thus, such a system will benefit those who are not knowledgeable in their research area which I believe is a bit unfair. One may claim that that the reason could be a luck of expertise in the area. However, this can be circumvented by requesting detailed information about the candidate. For example, one of them is by checking the peer review comments of the previously published papers from the reputable journals.

It looks that these evaluation approaches are not integrated in the current system for the reason that I did not understand especially in the academic environment. And I prefer not to involve in such kind of competition. I am also not interested to perform some administrative works such as department recruiting as these activities have their own complications.

I am a bit fan of doing research and teach few courses per year, and organizing conferences, workshops, and peer reviewing papers. Thus, my question is that is there any institution who can hire professors so that their responsibility is just publishing scientific papers and teach 2 or 3 courser per year without writing a proposal (Electrical Engineering)?

Thanks for reading this long question.

closed as off-topic by Cape Code, scaaahu, Peteris, Brian Borchers, Penguin_Knight Oct 3 '16 at 14:40

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others. (See this discussion for more info.)" – Cape Code, scaaahu, Brian Borchers, Penguin_Knight
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Well... is your research such that you can carry it out and publish papers without any funding? – Nate Eldredge Oct 3 '16 at 1:47
  • 14
    Oh, and: I am also not interested to perform some administrative works such as department recruiting as these activities have their own complications. I think that alone rules out all positions in the US having the word "professor" in their title. Likely other countries too, but I couldn't say for sure. – Nate Eldredge Oct 3 '16 at 2:03
  • 5
    As with previous "questions" of this OP, this is a poorly disguised rant against the way grant proposals are evaluated. – Tobias Kildetoft Oct 3 '16 at 7:22
  • 3
    Do you want a pony with that? – Cape Code Oct 3 '16 at 11:23
  • 1
    The question is posed from a perspective of almost complete ignorance. To think that the evaluators of proposals are ignorant about the proposals they evaluate makes no sense. In truth, the people who review proposals are typically among the best in their field, and they understand a great deal about what is being proposed. – Wolfgang Bangerth Oct 3 '16 at 16:49

If you can do your research without funding, than sure. However, even in "cheap" fields professors are expected to train PhD students, and these are expensive, so hard to get without funding.

As to administrative duties; universities are typically "self-administered". That is good, as that way we make our own decisions and not some external bureaucrat. But that also means that we need to do that.

Think of it this way: everywhere where people make a career (in academia and elsewhere), their set of duties change from substantive to increasingly bureaucratic duties. If you don't like that, then don't make a career.

  • Dear All Thank you again for answering my question. As mentioned in the question, professors must get funding to do research. In fact, it is impossible to perform any kind of research (at least in EE) without getting any fund. What I am questioning is the way a professor is getting funding? According to one of my questions (why prof spend more time in writing proposals), there is a consensus in these two issues: 1. Professors usually prefer to spend more time in their research area 2. Professors do not have any other choice other than spending their time in writing a proposal. – Angry Academia Oct 3 '16 at 17:14
  • This will ultimately affect the overall productivity of the academic environment. The 10% success rate of a proposal makes things even worse. If what I am stating is correct with high probability, why do not the academic society create a scheme to provide funding without writing a proposal (for example just by CV). To my knowledge, I did not see any effort in this direction. In my opinion, it is sad that we all academicians accept proposal which is an “infertile culture” as a norm to get funding. – Angry Academia Oct 3 '16 at 17:15
  • Please note that the academic environment should be a place where people will debate their ideas, learn new things, show their intellectual ability, develop their thought etc. I think these are the pillars for a university professor/graduate students/postdocs to work with low salary (compared to most other disciplines). I would appreciate to get more details if I misunderstood something. – Angry Academia Oct 3 '16 at 17:15
  • 3
    @AngryAcademia: Well, that is not what you asked. You asked whether it is possible to hold a professorship without writing proposals, and the effective answer is no, it is not possible in today's world. If you want to propose alternative models and discuss their pros and cons, that is great, but this site is not the place for it: here we are focused on question with answers, not ongoing debates. – Nate Eldredge Oct 3 '16 at 18:04
  • 2
    @AngryAcademia It seems that although you are asking questions, what you really want to do is to tell us your own answers, or have a debate. If that is the case, then I suggest that your own blog or some similar forum would be more suitable. StackExchange sites are not meant as places for extended debate, or reiteration of one's own views in the guise of rhetorical question – Yemon Choi Oct 4 '16 at 13:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.