During the final stretch of my PhD in the social sciences (waiting for the oral defense date, publishing the dissertation as a book) I returned to my home country and pursued a career in journalism. Those two years were exciting, but I also realized that I wanted to teach (I was a guest lecturer for a journalism course for undergrads).

My question is, how can I plot a return course back to academia? I would like to apply for some lecture positions, but my greatest weakness is a lack of publications (aside from my dissertation) in the past few years.

If the application is due in two months, would it make sense at least to submit a few articles based on some parts of the dissertation to a few journals (thought I no longer have any academic affiliations)?

Is it conceivable for the hiring committee to consider my years outside of the PhD as a potential asset rather than a blank spot without publications?

Any insights and experiences on the matter would be appreciated. Thank you.


If the material in your dissertation can be adapted into articles that are suitable to submit for publication, then by all means do this. Having articles submitted is certainly better than not having any, and if you have to try again in a year, hopefully some of them will be accepted by then.

Since the work was carried out at your PhD institution, you should list it as your academic affiliation, even though you are no longer a student there. (But it wouldn't be a problem even if you didn't have any affiliation; that's not a requirement to publish, though people often seem to mistakenly think that it is.)

As for whether your time outside of academia can be considered a positive, it is up to you to make that case in your cover letter and application materials. Explain how this experience has enriched your skills and how it will contribute to your effectiveness in the position you are applying for.

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