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132

I agree with you. I feel the request to put your salary on a slide (on the first slide, no less!) is rather unexpected, and quite frankly does not speak highly about the professionalism of your contact. I would decline this, for multiple reasons: Your salary is nobody's business. Not sure what more there is to say about this. Students are, for the largest ...


93

A good question. Why would the school make this investment (which could be closer to $100K/year)? As pointed out, if you are TAing/grading/teaching, you are providing services that the school charges undergraduates for. The funding of a university is not entirely like that of a business. Some of the money is a direct investment in purely academic pursuits, ...


93

This is not standard in any academic or industry context I am familiar with. Typically salary negotiations (if they exist and a position is not simply funded at a fixed salary) occur after a hiring decision is made, that is, a step past when someone is reading your CV. I would find it odd to see salary information in a CV.


91

I certainly don't see anything immoral about asking questions. You may want to mention your affiliation, which will clarify the issue and perhaps also help the author give a more useful response. The author doesn't have any particular obligation to respond to your questions or anyone else's, but probably will if they are interesting and well thought out. ...


88

No, that answer is ridiculous. In North America, as long as you were working honestly*, the only reason you would ever have to return money is if you were accidentally overpaid (i.e. they paid you more money than you earned). * I assume you aren't actually trying to commit fraud


73

"I would like to see a formal written offer before we move forward." Any department that's unwilling to do that is sending up huge, brightly colored red flags. With fancy gold tassels. And embroidery that reads "DANGER".


71

The person who wants to go into industry is a different sort of person than one who wants a PhD. That isn't a universal, as some people want to do one to enable or enhance the other, but it is pretty generally true. You are likely a pretty good example yourself, so look at how you differ from those among your peers who chose as you did or otherwise. ...


64

Your institution has definitely met the terms laid out in your award letter, which states that there is "possibility of a fourth year based on availability of departmental funding." This does not mean that you are necessarily guaranteed a fourth year of funding. Even if most students get the fourth year, assuming you will is risky. They promised you three ...


59

This is not a moral grey area - asking is totally okay. In my country (Germany) researchers at public research institutions are even expected to answer. It's called "third mission" (the first two being research and teaching respectively). Besides this "third mission" I shall pursue (helping to bring their research to industry), I would be pleased to learn ...


56

TV-L is the German public servant remuneration grade table (Tarifvertrag für den Öffentlichen Dienst der Länder (TV-L)). It is how civil servants Germany are graded for their salaries and similar conditions for their work. Depending on where your position is, you'll be under TV-L West, or East, or Berlin, or Hessen. Something in your letter might specify ...


51

Universities don't "fund" Ph.D. candidates. They pay them salaries - or what should be recognized as salaries - to do research. In more normal states (such as the Netherlands), nobody is trying to deny this fact, and PhD candidates are formally in a employer-employee legal relation with their university. In other states (such as the US, or rather individual ...


49

Note that this answer is culture-dependant and my experiences will probably not fit directly with the situation in an American university, which you described to be enrolled in. However, the answer can help understand situations in which the described inofficial arrangements can work out, and also outlines why your situation is rather different from those. ...


47

There is some possibility of this, but it would work only in certain restricted ways and in certain limited contexts. I don't know of any reputable college or university that, when considering applicants for a position that already exists, consider an applicant's willingness to accept less than the standard salary as a point in their favor. If you think ...


45

The adjunct model seems to be predicated on an assumption that most adjunct faculty are presumed to be employed somewhere else. It's supposed to be a win-win: the institution gets a qualified expert with current, out-of-the-ivory-tower experience; the adjunct gets a chance to scratch a teaching itch, or to work with the university. All this happens for a ...


43

No this is not standard practice and is probably detrimental to obtaining offers and maximizing the salary of the offers. If your past earnings are too high, a company may not make you and offer for fear of you not taking it. Why let a company decide if you will take the job. Once an offer is made, it is generally held negotiating strategy that the party ...


42

I want to ask - why is this actually a problem? Shouldn't salary be based on merit and qualifications, not how long you've sat at a particular desk? Yes, it should. But consider what happens if I've been sitting at a desk for ten years, doing hard work and feeling good about it, and one day you arrive, take the next desk, and have a higher salary than I do....


41

Every job position is it's own little economy, and to understand it fully we basically need a wide-ranging understanding of economics. But we can at least hit the most obvious and easily understandable points, so long as we are clear that each position is distinct and unique in it's own right. Let's say you need to hire a Professor of Basket-Weave ...


39

My friend, please don't shortchange yourself. Having a modest lifestyle does not mean that you should not consider, say, buying an apartment or building a house of your own someday. And to do that you would need to save. Also, even if you're not concerned with your own expenses and savings, remember that most of the rest of us - academics without a tenure-...


38

In the US, supervising graduate students is generally considered part of the normal workload of a faculty member and there's no extra pay for doing this. The number of students supervised is typically a factor in tenure, promotion, and pay raise evaluations. Not supervising enough graduate students can hurt your evaluations and might possibly result in ...


38

Expanding a bit on my comment: To find out the net (and gross) salary for any position at a German university (from administrative assistants up to and including the base salary of a full professor), you can use the online calculator at Öffentlicher Dienst. It's in German only, but not that difficult to navigate. You need to know the following information (...


37

Remember that a PhD is intended to be a training position, not a job. Unfortunately, too many supervisors see PhD students as workers rather than as trainees in education. To get excellent PhD students, you need to convince undergrads that they personally will benefit from the training you will provide (rather than just that they will have the 'opportunity' ...


37

I did my PhD in computer science in the Boston area. Through an RA and a bit of TA, I had my tuition, health insurance, and conference travel expenses covered, plus a stipend which has since risen to $36,800 before tax per year. (With a bit of googling you can look up what financial support various PhD programs offer, as well as health insurance costs for ...


35

The short answer is: yes. Sabbatical is not a vacation but is rather a leave of teaching to focus on research and publication. At many schools it is not automatic but must be applied for and is granted at the provost's discretion. Some schools will only provide six months of funding, but will release a full year of teaching, making the faculty member ...


35

As Dirk writes, W3 only gives the Grundgehalt (base salary), which varies by state. As a public servant, you will automatically get a few hundred EUR on top if you are married and/or have children (Familienzuschlag). Note also that in some states (Bayern, Hessen, Sachsen), your W2 or W3 Grundgehalt will currently increase in two steps after 5/12 or after 7/...


35

There is no reason why a post doc cannot be appointed at a higher point on the spine if there is money there, that said, rarely is there money available. The number of people doing multiple post docs in the UK is smaller than in the US, and they usually stay at the same school. That means they often can be appointed to a higher grade. Therefore grants for ...


34

They will not tell you a number in Euro, as the person tasked with the hiring decision probably doesn't know the amount either. You need to ask for the paygrade and then use the calculator on this page to find the amount. It is a very easy conversation, because neither you nor your supervisor can do anything about the payment. No negotiation, no decision ...


33

It sounds like it's on the low side for the sciences, but not unheard of. For comparison, NIH NRSA postdoc stipends start at about $39k for people with no previous postdoctoral experience and go up from there. Postdoc salaries can vary a lot by field, location, institution, etc.; if you have no other offers to compare with but want to know what's typical, ...


33

I feel it's kind of obnoxious to ask for an expected salary, and it does raise issues of whether the answer could be used to lower the initial offer (or decrease the applicant's negotiating power). I don't see anything wrong with giving a vague answer or just saying you are flexible. If you specify a number, you should try to choose one that's ...


32

For the United State, see http://cra.org/resources/taulbee/ for salary survey data in computer science. Of course, as Suresh points out there's enormous variation. The median salary for a tenure-track assistant professor in computer science at a US research university is about $90k, but some make quite a bit less.


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