I am a mathematics professor with a PhD and 12 years of math teaching experience, including 6 years post-PhD.

For the last two years, I have taught statistics every semester. It was a big change from math at first, but now I feel much more confident.

I know several people on this site have served on hiring committees. At a university with low research expectations hiring for a stats position, would an application such as mine be competitive with newly-graduated statistics PhDs?

To generalize, when applying for teaching positions in areas adjacent to your PhD, what evidence can you provide that you are able to competently teach in this area?

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    Define "university with low research expectations." At a CC, teaching experience only would be fine, but that's probably not what you mean. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 1:29
  • A large number of schools don't require yearly research publications. That's what I'm talking about here. I've published 6 research papers in mid-level journals, and I could continue that pace, but not in statistics directly. I guess I'd be looking at schools that ask you to only do some research, but not be a leader in your field. As far as I can tell, that is what most schools not in the top 200 look for, as well as many liberal arts colleges (including 2 I've taught at). Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 4:27
  • It sounds like what you're actually asking is: If you have a PhD and some research output in A and teaching experience in B, is it possible to be hired as a tenure-track professor of B where you teach B but continue to only do research in A? I'm guessing the answer is no. If they wanted PhDs in A, they would have said so. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 17:12
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    Welll, that answers that. If you post that as an answer, I could accept it! Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 22:09
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    Reach out to your friends and ask them. Also, I would apply because statistics professors can be harder to fill because of the strong demand from industry. Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


As long as you are still at the assistant professor level, I think your application should be competitive at many schools, provided you have evidence of good teaching. Many mathematicians have gone over to statistics, and at a school that is primarily teaching oriented, what they typically look for is someone who teach well, provide good service and be a good colleague. They probably won't care much about your actual area of research, just that you can cover well the courses they have in mind for that position. If you've taught several similar courses, and have good letters about them, then this is sufficient evidence of teaching capability to me.

In fact, your position would be viewed as advantageous by many, as you should have more experience in both teaching---in fact, possibly more experience teaching statistics---and service than a fresh statistics PhD. Also, presumably you've shown that you can sustain your research on your own.

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