Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ivory Filter Flask: 4/2/13 edition

Good morning! Between March 26 and April 1, there were 17 new academic positions posted on C&EN Jobs. The numbers:

Total number of ads: 17
- Postdocs: 2
- Tenure-track faculty:  11
- Temporary faculty: 2
- Lecturer positions:  2
- Staff positions:  0
- US/non-US: 11/6

New York, NY: Looks like the Rockefeller University is hiring tenure-track professors in chemical biology.

Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis is hiring for an assistant professor in analytical chemistry.

Saitama, Japan: RIKEN is hiring a foreign postdoc for 487,000 yen a month. Wow! (That looks to be 5,215 USD/month.) I suspect that's barely enough to get by in Japan, which speaks to the cost of living.

Israel: By contrast, the Fulbright program for postdoctoral stints in Israel is offering 35-40k/year. I wonder how that compares to RIKEN? (Also, does anyone want to talk about doing a chemistry postdoc in Israel? Sounds intriguing.)

Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University is hiring lecturers for general chemistry, etc. Looks like you might have to do online education as well. Ph.D. required.

Would someone take these stupid positions, please?: The Frontier Institute of Science and Technology (FIST) at Xi'an Jiaotong University (this is in somewhat remote Western China) has been advertising heavily in C&EN Jobs for directorships, professorships and postdocs. 


  1. Work at FIST? Sounds like they have a lab deep in the heart of a volcano. You would probably have a weekly raid from an international man of mystery screwing up all your reactions.

    1. You ever wondered where on earth women may be inseminated with chimpanzee sperm just to see what happens?

    2. Soviet scietists have done it, in late 1920s' and early 30s', in all possible male-female ways, with chimps and with gorilas also. They did it because they tried to breed a new breed of "superhuman" endurance soldiers. All those meticulously-planned couplings came to nothing and the program was stopped/

    3. You guys are really pathetic. That city (Xi'an) has been there for more than 2000 years and once was the largest in the world. Don't let ignorance blind your eyes, folks. Recklessly trolling about foreign things as if no one knows your ignorance wouldn't make you look any better.

    4. A dormant volcano? A city looking to regain its past glory? Slowly, the pieces are beginning to fall into place...

      Also, I suspect that since they say "See our Chinese language advertisement", the positions are not tailored to those who don't speak Mandarin. I doubt Xi'an has a volcano though. FIST will probably have to make do with a normal mountain that is hollowed out. At least that will be a plus to the scientists though. Since the city is in a river valley surrounded by huge mountains, it's big and it's in China, I suspect the frequent smog will cut your lifespan by a decade or two.

  2. Israel is quite expensive, especially around Tel Aviv where many technology companies are located. You remember the recent cost-of-living mass demonstrations in Israel? Mostly young middle class folks protesting that they could not afford rent....

  3. You want me to write you an email about doing a postdoc in Israel, or just post stuff here? Also, do you want me to to focus only on the practical stuff, or mention leisure activities? Also, should I "never mention the war"? At the top institutes, it's pretty similar to the experience in the States.

    1. Either way is fine, but if it's long-ish, just e-mail, so 1) you have a saved copy (and aren't risking the comment box) and 2) so I can give it attention.

  4. The cost of living in Japan isn't that high. You will be fine on 487k yen. You should get a nice studio for less than 100k, pay less than 100k for taxes and medical insurance, leaving you with around 300k for beer money. That's about 1500 beers from the store or 600 from restaurants, take your pick.

    Note that RIKEN, like most Japanese employers, probably pays for your commute (either buy paying for your train pass or comping you for mileage if you have a car). RIKENs main facilities are easily transit accessable so I expect that is what most foreign post-docs use. Hence your only transportation costs would be your personal travel, perhaps 15k per month. Food is expensive, expect 5k/week for groceries plus 3-5k for most nights out (drinks included). There is no way I wouldn't be saving less than 100k/month ($1000) on that salary as a single person. If I were young, I would love that job.

  5. Oh, it's THAT SDSU....