If you need help with online teaching or other challenges in academia arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.
94

There are no ethical considerations here. They are willing to spend the money to get a look at you as well as let you look at them. Just be honest with them so that you don't seem to be leading them on. Thinking of it any other way would imply that a small expenditure from them would lock you in. That would be unethical. Good luck.


30

There’s nothing unethical about visiting a lab, giving a talk, and expecting to be reimbursed for expenses you incurred for this visit. The lab will get something out of your visit: the talk and the interaction with other members of the lab. Of course if you promise a talk and don’t deliver that’s another matter.


12

I agree with the other answers that there's no ethical problem here, and I'd add that, even if these visits had been official job interviews, there still would be no ethical problem. I think it's understood (certainly in my field but I think in other fields too) that people who are finishing a Ph.D. will apply to many places, will go to interviews, might get ...


8

I would just write: "Ph.D. completed, to be awarded [month, year]."


7

In my field (though different from yours), 3-6 months is not nearly enough time for a novice to approach a research project. Student volunteers (undergraduates, who may also get credit for the work so not entirely "volunteer") may take on projects of this duration, but there is little expectation that they accomplish anything concrete - they take more time ...


6

Interviews are two way things. It would cost nothing for the lab., and they would benefit from a talk from you. It's only fair they reimburse at least some of your expenses. If they like what they see, an offer may be forthcoming. If not, nothing. You may like what you see, and accept, if not, nothing. Ethics don't get involved here. It's a two way thing. ...


5

I have been a department chair (math department, large US university) and nonetheless find your situation completely baffling. I have literally never heard of a TT job candidate being invited to a second on-campus interview. This is so unusual that I can’t really come up with a plausible guess for why the department that invited you thinks they need you to ...


3

There are “pre-doc” research positions in many fields. If you are considering going back to get a PhD this would likely be an appropriate thing to apply for. Usually they are working on a pre-ordained project with a faculty member who has been successful in getting a grant. But they are typically a year minimum... it would probably not be worth it for a ...


3

I believe that your actual answer doesn't matter that much. These "open" questions are often asked, in my experience, to get you to talk. Unless the content of your answer raises a big red flag, the relevant part will be how you react to it, how you pose your answer, etc. It's a "starter", depending on your answer you might get interesting follow-ups that ...


3

The purpose of the background check is to find out if you are likely to abuse children on campus, assault your colleagues, or steal from the university. It is not related to academic integrity. Academic integrity is evaluated by reference checks and transcript checks. Convictions are decided by law courts, not university committees. You have a ...


2

Mistakes of this nature, when handled appropriately at the time, are part of the learning process and you can move beyond them without additional penalty. I assume you don't make such errors now, intentionally or otherwise. There are a few exceptions, however, as when applying to a national intelligence organization and being asked specific questions. You ...


2

If the search committee has decided to assign you a topic, you should teach the assigned topic. If they ask you to choose a topic, then you should choose. The committee makes the rules, not the candidate.


2

Well, based on the 3 institutions I have close contact with, their attempts in the past few weeks hardly represent a shining example of hugely successful online learning! It feels more like the Keystone Kops! That bit of snark out of the way, effective teaching in the online/MOOC/e-channel, etc. is not easy, and making the transition between a face to face ...


1

I think that outcome is unlikely, but not impossible over time. There are too many advantages of personal interaction in a more traditional setting to simply let it go. I don't have figures, but think that successful completion of something like a degree is much more likely with face to face interaction with experts than with internet delivery of material. ...


1

If they say they will send you the topic, then you should prepare and teach that topic. This may well be because they are asking all candidates to teach / demonstrate that topic so they can see who has the deeper knowledge or those who "miss" or "gloss over" important points or concepts. If you ask, they may find that curious as they have already told you ...


1

Yes, you should create some slides. You have 4 situations which you can order along two dimensions: You are either expected to show slides or you are not, and you can either make slides or you can not. If you are expected to show slides and you do make them, happy days. If you are expected to show slides and do not make them, you fall short of their ...


1

An interview is your chance to demonstrate your skills and convince your prospective PI (as well as the rest of the panel) that you are the best candidate for the role. Your knowledge of the subject is very important, of course. But so are your technical skills required to prepare publications and presentations for various audiences. Your prospective PI may ...


1

If you are thinking of doing anything really important to your career using Power Point, I urge you first to read Edward Tufte's article "The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint". The issue with slides is that your audience look at them and do not listen to you. That is a big problem if the whole point of the presentation is supposed to be about how YOU will ...


1

My advice is to do most of the interview as a live video (camera, mike on you). But do go ahead and make a slide or two that shows some effort to think about the specific posting (or at least the lab group/PI) and your initial work plan related to the postdoc job. I would position this as "initial thinking" and move the discussion naturally into a ...


1

This could depend a bit on the field, of course. But I find powerpoint to be mostly very badly used. Someone once described the typical PP deck as the speaker's notes that shouldn't be shown to the audience. If that is what you tend to do - show a slide and then just repeat a longer form of that orally, then I wouldn't bother. There are some people who are ...


1

The road to the future is never smooth and upward trending. It is bumpy. In the current chaotic situation, expect chaos in the short term. Others, such as myself, have experienced career setbacks due to circumstances we can't control. I finished my doctorate at a time when the market for mathematicians was one of zero demand and massive supply. But over time,...


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