Questions tagged [job]

On the duties, responsibilities, titles, and benefits associated with an academic job. (For questions on searching for an academic job, use 'job-search' instead.)

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124
votes
4answers
10k views

How hard do early-career academics in the United States work, really?

I'm finishing a PhD in Sweden this year and seeking a post-doc in the United States (atmospheric remote sensing). It is clear that a job in academia is not a nine to five job; nor do I want it to be. ...
112
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5answers
20k views

Gender transition as a starting faculty member: a terrible idea?

I'm a computer scientist at the point in my postdoc where I will have to decide soon whether to apply for faculty positions this fall or go to industry, in the US/Canada/UK/maybe Europe.1 But I've ...
106
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13answers
42k views

Why do students go for a PhD even when chances of getting academic jobs on its completion are slim?

This is in reference to my question: How to do a PhD to equip myself for a job as assistant professor. I was told in the answer of the above linked question that chances of landing a job as an ...
87
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5answers
5k views

Typical experiences of transgender people in academia?

I've recently come to accept that I'm transgender (MtF, male-to-female). I won't go into the exact details of this as it's personal, but I have a "girl mode" where I identify as a female. I'm also a ...
83
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15answers
225k views

Is it possible to work full time and complete a PhD?

Is it achievable to perform a doctorate while working in a private company (not in college) full time (8 hours per day, 5 days per week)? Or is it too much work or stress?
70
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10answers
12k views

Stay in academia or become professor without overworking, is it possible?

I am referring more to young scientists after the PhD than professors, although I am also wondering about people with a stable position. I see many people overworking themselves, burning-out, being ...
70
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9answers
2k views

Academic discretion: Should one participate in online forums or Stack Exchange sites anonymously?

As we may ask and answer various questions on online forums or stack exchange regarding teaching, research, publishing etc; it may reveal our lack of knowledge on any basic topic. This might hurt us ...
68
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8answers
13k views

Is it considered normal to publish job offers inviting candidates to apply based on their gender and/or race in academia?

I was browsing PhD position offers in Europe on different websites and I was quite surprised to find that several offers contained sentences such as University of X value equality and diversity. We ...
68
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10answers
11k views

What is the point of being the head of the department?

What is the point of being the head of the department ? I'm an undergraduate Physics & Mathematics student and I want to stay in academia, do research and also teach. I'm assuming professors also ...
66
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6answers
11k views

In practice, how secure is a tenured position in the US?

Coming from France, where any official academic position (i.e. associate professor or full professor, or equivalent positions at public research institutes) is a civil-servant one, and therefore ...
62
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7answers
16k views

Is it okay to refuse a laptop from a new university if you already have your own personal laptop?

I got a postdoc position and I am moving to a new university. I was contacted by my new professor about choosing a laptop that the department would buy for me. The option they have is roughly the ...
51
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5answers
5k views

What to do when you are a promised a research-based research associate role but are required to act in an IT support role?

First some background. Two years ago I joined a research group as a research associate. My intention in obtaining that position was to publish with the group and build some academic capital, but in ...
49
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10answers
7k views

How to buy plane tickets for job interviews?

I am currently on the academic job market, and scheduling on-campus interviews with institutions that might want to hire me. Suppose I am invited to an on-campus interview at the University of X, and ...
42
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5answers
4k views

Negotiating startup package given differences in institutional norms

There is a story on Inside Higher Ed (based on this blog post) about a candidate who received a tenure-track offer from a U.S. philosophy department. She emailed the search committee with some ...
41
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11answers
37k views

What part-time jobs are suitable for PhD students?

I know PhD is unsparing in terms of available time, but at times there may be situations that demand some extra income, for example, family situations or some medical emergency. In such cases, are ...
41
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3answers
11k views

A social experiment. What is the worst that can happen? [closed]

I am a postdoc and I have been applying for jobs in both industry and academia. My h-index is good enough for junior faculty (~7). Along my academic CV I have an industry-oriented CV and send both of ...
41
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9answers
105k views

Who actually is a Post-Doctoral fellow?

Many of us often talk about Bachelor's and Master's students, PhD students, researchers, professors, and postdocs. But, do we know what we actually intend when we say "Post-Doc"? We all know that a ...
40
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8answers
10k views

Are athletes' college degrees discounted by employers and graduate school admissions?

This question and the pertinent answers suggest that, as a rule, college athletes in the United States are not held to the same academic standards as other students. It also seems that this is well-...
38
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2answers
2k views

How should one turn down academic job applicants?

What's a tactful, respectful way to notify job applicants that you won't be hiring them? I see a lot of angry online discussion of this issue. Nobody seems to like the common "if you don't hear back,...
36
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3answers
6k views

How do I know if I'm good enough to be a math professor?

I would like to apply for graduate school to become a mathematics professor. However, given that the opportunity cost of grad school is high and that I already have a stable, good paying job, I would ...
36
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5answers
3k views

Difference between tenure-track/tenured positions in universities and research scientist positions in national labs

I am trying to evaluate pros and cons for working at universities as tenure-track (and eventually, hopefully, tenured) and research scientist at national labs. I realize that not much is discussed on ...
35
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6answers
2k views

As a new faculty member, how do I avoid the Peter Principle?

Quoth the Wikipedia: "The Peter Principle is a proposition that states that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted ...
35
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5answers
4k views

Improving work conditions of student assistants, PhDs, Postdocs etc

I have been following threads on this website for a few months now. However it's my first time posting. I am a postdoctoral researcher from a Western European country who has done reasonably well ...
35
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4answers
2k views

What is being done to make the academic environment more women friendly?

The number of women in some academia disciplines like computer science remains low despite the continuous efforts to increase it. What is being done to make academic careers in computer science (and ...
33
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5answers
5k views

Does doing a postdoc mean a commitment to an academic career?

I have heard that it would be a bad idea to take up a post-doctoral position, if your ultimate goal is to work in industry. The basis of this maybe that it is harder to be hired for an opening at a ...
32
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4answers
21k views

What is a soft-money research position?

I have read the term "soft-money research position" a few times. E.g. Path of a postdoc. Another consideration for interviewees is whether to pursue a "soft-money" position. A tenure-track ...
31
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8answers
4k views

Will anybody actually read your research and teaching statements?

When applying to faculty jobs, how much weight is given to your research/teaching statements? Talking with a few folks on admissions committees at Very Good Departments in Big Research Universities, ...
31
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6answers
5k views

Education or employment: What is a post-doc? What is a PhD student?

I’m afraid this question is mostly opinion-based, but I was wondering if there is any piece of material out there that covers the spectrum of opinions. What exactly is a post-doc? Is it an education, ...
31
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3answers
14k views

Some questions about math postdoc offers

I am a math PhD student and on the postdoc job market for the first time. I would like to know how job offer (hopefully) comes and what I should keep in mind in accepting the offers. I am interested ...
30
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5answers
3k views

PhD in mathematics, science communication jobs

I'm doing a PhD in mathematics at one of the world-leading universities. I spend a lot of time engaging in science communication: both speaking (talks for general audience, some of them quite ...
28
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5answers
2k views

Value of contributions to Wikipedia when applying for academic jobs

The quality of articles in Wikipedia has grown tremendously in the last few years. A "good article" requires a big list of necessities, including coherence, readability, comprehensiveness and credible ...
28
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5answers
7k views

Why do academics work only nine months of the year?

I'm wondering how best to respond to queries from non-academics along the lines of "Why should you be paid during the summer holidays?" This is the sort of question I hear a lot in this economic ...
28
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4answers
2k views

How useful are professional society memberships?

En route to academia, are professional society memberships useful? So far, I feel like I have been paying ~$100/year for a few societies (with student discounts), just to receive copies of their ...
27
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4answers
3k views

Is it peculiar for a department not to have any of its own PhD graduates as professors?

I have been doing research into graduate programs and have noticed that some departments have a representation of their own PhD graduates as professors while others have an absence. For example, a ...
27
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2answers
2k views

Why would a top department hire a less experienced researcher for a tenure-track position?

Suppose that a top-N department at a big research university (for very small N) has the choice between two candidates for a tenure-track position: Candidate A: a bright young researcher just done ...
26
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6answers
4k views

Why do research faculty pursue administrative positions, such as dean, provost, president, etc. ? Do such positions spell the end of one's research?

At a recent seminar talk, I was amazed to note that one of the two coauthors (not the presenter) was the president of a large and well-known university, since I had always assumed that taking on such ...
26
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3answers
3k views

What makes securing faculty positions difficult?

This question is an off-shoot from this one, where it has been agreed by most that securing faculty positions is difficult in general. I would like to know what exactly makes this so. Though in ...
26
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3answers
6k views

Can you get hired where you received your phd?

I really like the institution where I'm working on my PhD, and I enjoy the city that I live in. I have shown that I am a strong research, and I am really starting to make a name for myself. I was ...
26
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3answers
427 views

How can I prepare myself to advise students for jobs outside of academia?

The consensus on academic jobs seems to be that we are sending far too many students to graduate school to train for jobs that will not be there when they graduate. Despite this, most of my ...
25
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3answers
3k views

Important factors for hiring a young mathematician

Let's list important factors for evaluation of a job candidate (for research post doc, assistant professor, tenure track, etc): Research experience (research articles, research talks, expository ...
25
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3answers
83k views

What academic functions does a Professor Emeritus usually serve?

I for one have never understood the distinction between a regular prof with a prof Emeritus/Emerita aside from the obvious fact that a Prof. Emeritus is someone who is usually fairly elderly and has ...
25
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5answers
27k views

Is it possible to make leaving a PhD look good on a CV / Resume?

I am in the process of leaving my PhD programme in life sciences at a top university in the UK. A PhD is simply not for me and I find the work/life balance to be intolerable; in addition, my PhD so ...
25
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2answers
2k views

Job search when coming up for tenure

I notice that coming up for tenure/getting tenure is often an opportunity to move to another institution (even if tenure is granted). How does this work in practice? Is it common for assistant ...
25
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3answers
2k views

Is there a stigma in computer science toward too many postdoc positions?

I am wondering if there is a stigma attached to holding too many soft-money positions when looking for a tenure-track position in the area of computer science. In computer science, postdoc positions ...
24
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5answers
18k views

Academic Interview: What is your Greatest Weakness?

A common interview question is "What is your greatest weakness?". Having done some online research on this, there are lots of articles on how to tackle this with generic job interviews, and the idea ...
24
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3answers
81k views

What does “tenure” mean?

I often find academics with tenured bracketed beside their position. What is meant by a tenured position? Is this different from a permanent teaching position?
24
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3answers
22k views

Who to address on the cover letter?

In the cover letter of an application to an academic job, should we write Dear Search Committee Members, or Dear Professor A, Chair of the Search Committee Members, or Dear Professor A, ...
23
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5answers
3k views

What are the negative consequences of slacking off after attaining tenure?

As I was thinking about the question Can I slack off and get a PhD?, I realized that I wanted to say in my answer If you want to slack off, the best time to do so is after you have received ...
23
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2answers
1k views

How does the experience of working at a “top” university differ from working at an average one?

Being a professor at the top university in your field must be a very different experience from being a professor at a top 20 university, which must be a very different experience from working at a top ...
22
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4answers
11k views

What's the shortest “acceptable” postdoc length?

So, the postdoc is going ok and there might be one or two publications after a few months. However, I've realized that I'd like to move forward and start applying to industry jobs. Now, my concern ...