Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Academic job posting open thread

I got a request for a "academic job hunt" thread recently, so I thought I would give it a try.

So, if you're giving a talk somewhere and feel like telling other people how it went and for people to keep track of who has received an offer, etc., feel free to use this post's comments.

I strongly suggest to those who want to do such a thing to be very careful about providing too much detail. I also suggest that if you decide that you want to mention the fact that you gave a talk at a moderately prominent Iowa liberal arts school, say, that you might try Google-proofing by adding "/
"s to the text, e.g. "Yesterday, I interviewed at Gri/nel/l College. It went fine and Professor Sn/ark/lepan/ts was a wonderful host."

If you'd like to tell me why this is a bad idea, I'm all ears: chemjobber@gmail.com -- thanks. 

10 comments:

  1. In retrospect, it was horrible... horrible! The worst was the interview at a European school, where I got the time difference wrong, was late for dinner by an hour, and then was surprised to learn that all the other candidates were at dinner too. And they all laughed at me when I said I didn't know that we were all interviewing together at the same time. That one I was pretty sure I was not going to get after the pre-interview dinner. Although a second-favorite worst one, was that where after my talk at a meeting with a faculty member, he spent almost the whole half-hour saying how my wife gave an interview a few weeks ago and how it was so much better then mine, and how I didn't talk about my successful catalysis for long enough as opposed to her where she highlighted her successes for a long time. I was pretty sure I didn't get that job after that meeting. I only got one offer and had to give it up because my wife got a better one somewhere else.

    Didn't get many interviews in America because my boss was supposed to write letters to people and advocate for me apparently (I was told this by some famous people during one of my interviews who indicated my boss was bad at this) and he doesn't do that so everyone else had an advantage at just getting the interview.

    It was all a waste of time. But at least it made me better at giving presentations. I go into the seminar room with the expectation of bombing and nothing good coming out of it, so the fact that people are positive at the end is always a nice plus.

    Just thinking about it all brings back a lot of bad memories. I just want to stop wasting time on the internet and go back into the lab and run a column now. That's how bad I feel.

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    Replies
    1. At least you got interviews....

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    2. Not nearly as many as people who went to top-ten schools with famous advisors and who had half my glamour magz pubz. And I probably even had to work harder to get those papers accepted into Jackass while working for an assistant prof at a crap non top ten program.

      Although to be fair... I don't work that hard. I play a lot of video games in the evening and once a week come in to the lab and don't do anything the whole day. I still averaged one glamour mag pubz a year. Hmm.... maybe that's where I went wrong. Should have worked a bit harder and published more.

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    3. Yup. Its who you know, more than ever now. If your terminal apprenticeship was with an unknown (less that a NAS member) the chances are you will never have a long lasting decent job. At least that's my take.

      I wish I had time to play video games. I have to read papers on weekends and grade papers at the community college I'm adjunct at.

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  2. The season for SLAC hiring is winding down. As a participant in the SLAC cycle this year, I am writing to report that campus interviews at the following schools have (or are currently) taken place. I haven't heard about any offers yet, but will post again if I hear anything.

    Whit/ma/n College
    M/acale/ster College
    Am/her/st College

    CJ - Thank you for running this open post. Most other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences have dedicated job boards where this information can be shared; however, chemistry has resisted this trend for some reason. Best of luck to all applicants out there!

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    Replies
    1. No problem. In the interests of security by obscurity, I will not run another post for the 2014-2015 season.

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    2. Whitman filled the position...unfortunately, not with me. They did send a very nice e-mail breaking down the total applicants, phone interviews, on campus visits, and explaining that an offer had been made and accepted, then encouraging me to continue my search. It was refreshing. Amherst was also polite about informing me after I was not selected for an on-campus interview, as was Trinity University.

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    3. Offers have been made at all three institutions.

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  3. I'm just here to vent about the fact that I missed the boat on about half the places I applied to because one or more of my letter writers decided they just didn't feel like sending those particular letters, even after a great deal of obsequious begging that my future depended on them just looking in their spam folder for the letter request. So it's not just who you know, but the good fortune that those who know you are also willing to lift a finger to help you.

    The sad thing is that I wasn't planning on an academic job search because of the dismal prospects, but my search outside the Ivory Tower was also a bust. I guess it's another year of postdoc limbo for me. Damn, I need a drink…who's with me?!

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    Replies
    1. I find that letter writers from the US are more on the ball. Europe is a different story. You have to beg and the chances they send the letter on time are about 10%, even though they tell you that you are outstanding and they will support you.

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