Thursday, December 11, 2014

Well done, Intel

From an ad for a Materials Chemist (synthetically oriented) at Intel Corporation, these requirements (emphasis mine):
Minimum Qualifications:
The candidate must possess a Ph.D. in one of the following disciplines: Chemistry, specifically synthetic inorganic, synthetic organic, or synthetic organometallic chemistry 
Preferred Qualifications:
Strong synthetic background, especially as it relates to the handling of air-sensitive compounds  
Proficiency in using NMR spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography and other analytical techniques such as GC-MS, HPLC, UV-Vis and IR spectroscopy, TGA/DSC.  
History of collaboration with cross-disciplinary academic and/or industrial partners  
Three (3) or more 1st author publications in high-impact chemistry journals (e.g. JACS, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Inorganic Chemistry, Adv. Mat., etc.)  
Willingness to apply academic background to semiconductor industry  
Unrestricted right to work in the US without requiring sponsorship.
In one sense, I think this is a silly preference. What if they were a 2nd author? Co-first author? (what a ridiculous designation, incidentally.)

In another sense, if Intel informally has these sorts of guidelines, by all means, I think that they should make them clear.

(Do pharma companies do this? I feel like the answer is "no", but I could be wrong.) 

32 comments:

  1. All this is going to do is cause more people to fabricate data. Good one, Intel.

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  2. Do my Nature papers count, or would they have to have been Nature Chem?

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  3. Requiring first-authorship seems a bit nonsensical in a multidisciplinary world, and in light of the rest of their ad. They want someone with a "history of collaboration...with cross-disciplinary...partners" ... that always takes as much credit as possible.

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  4. There's a bit of a gap between IC and the likes of JACS and ACIE, too.

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  5. I guarantee that this ad was published for the purpose of labor certification under immigration law.
    A person is currently holding this position and needs to prove that there is no US citizen or permanent resident available that meets all the requirements for the opening.

    Along that line, the person seeking immigration benefits is surely having three first-author publications in high-impact chemistry journals.

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    Replies
    1. But this really doesn't look like an outrageous list of qualifications. I am pretty sure my wife qualified for this job. She is a US citizen. I am fairly certain I know a few other citizens who would qualify as well

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    2. On the other hand, I wouldn't qualify for this job despite years of semiconductor industry experience, because of the three papers that my dissertation became, only one was published in a journal on that list (Adv. Mat.). The other two were in Macromolecules. Since then I have been working in industry and not publishing in the academic literature.

      The goal isn't to eliminate every concievable candidate. Just most of them.

      Delete
  6. mmmmm is right. It is a fact that the guy that recently started this job is an immigrant.

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    1. By "fact", what do you mean, exactly?

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    2. Checked my facts. The guy that will start this job in early 2015 is an immigrant who accepted the job in early October 2014.

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    3. It all makes sense.

      Guy accepts job in early October on an H1B for a start date of 2015. Early October because that's when the federal fiscal year starts, and H1B visas are issued against the annual quota. The annual quota is usually used up w/in three weeks.

      Seems Intel is feeling generous in expediting him towards a Green Card. But that process takes at minimum a year; so they are talking the first step now by posting this very targeted ad.

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  7. The amount of papers published (or not) do not accurately quantify a chemist's skill. At my industrial job, I know some really shitty chemists with more papers than they really deserve who worked for big name PIs and some amazing chemists with a few conference talks. I had the pleasure of knowing one such person who couldn't calculate the volume needed when they had the moles and molar concentration...this was a PhD from a hotshot Harvard PI.

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  8. My advisor had a policy of always listing authors in alphabetical order. Would have been a good idea if everyone else did it. Our crystallographer's name was early in the alphabet, and he got first-author credit on many papers he only put a few hours of work into, while the grad student who actually did the work was usually buried somewhere in the middle.

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  9. I am reliably told that not all Intel Ph.D. positions require such author credentials.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Of course not.

      The requirement for author credentials is added to narrow down the pool of qualified applicants to just one person. And that is the person who currently is holding the position and needs the labor cert in order to get a green card.

      Also, in order to be considered a qualified candidate any sucessful applicant must meet ALL of the requirements. Not most of them or 9 out of 10, but ALL. You get the idea...

      Otherwise it has been demonstrated that no qualified US citizen or permanent resident is available to fill the position. And that's exactly what it takes to get approval for an employment-based green card.

      Been there, done that.

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    3. As much as I am for limiting immigration so that things are not so competitive here in USA tech, it seems to me that it could also be an American Citizen that is in-house that needs to be promoted but the company requires looking outside for some time frame to fill the position.

      But it would not surprise me if you are correct. Companies are desperate to lower labor costs.

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    4. mmmmm, is this something that could be tracked down using H1b databases? Because you've laid out a number of interesting (and falsifiable) thoughts. My immigration law is kind of rusty, so I don't know which category this person might fall under...

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    5. I'd venture he/she currently is employed by Intel on an H1B and is trying to convert to a Green Card.
      That's the only time a labor certification, the ad is an integral part of it, is needed.

      Delete
    6. NMH, at 10:27 am

      This is not about lowering labor costs for a chemistry PhD. They are already a dime a dozen; how much lower can you go?
      Furthermore, there are fees and time (by HR, legal, etc.) associated w/ these immigration procedures.

      Food for thought.

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    7. Back in the day I went through a very similar process. Straight from graduate school I took a job on my student visa extension (F-1, one year training). After 6 months the company decided to keep me on the job and started the H-1B process. My lawyer wrote the job ad to fit my position and to meet the requirements of a DoL bracket. The offered salary had to match about the middle of DoL statistics for that bracket and my education, so low balling was off.

      The company was small, there wasn't another person who could do all pieces of my job (all of us had at least three jobs there...) and US citizens were as eager to work there as they are eager to pick lettuce and tomatoes in California.

      There was only one response to the job ads and it met one of the listed requirement (the person did have a Ph.D.).

      For full disclosure, I am a US citizen now.

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    8. The requirements are nothing special. I had those credentials at the end of my PhD, and a couple of other people in my year from the department did as well I believe. If you (mmmmmm) think that these specifications are sinisterly tailored to a particular person, you probably don't have a PhD in the area they want and/or not enough glamor magz pubz. I bet they are still going to get 100 applicants and maybe ten who are qualified. If you're synthetic inorganic or synthetic organometallic you could esily have those pubz with the right project. Synthetic organic is a different story though.

      Hell, even I would apply to them, but it's too late now...

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    9. Why so belligerent?
      Ever been thru a labor cert or just talking from your behind?

      And yes, it is too late for you now. RIP.

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    10. I'm not that belligerent. I'm just explaining that the requirements are nothing special. I don't see anywhere where I attacked you. I think you're just feeling a bit too defensive because you made a lot of comments about foreigners on this thread that are not warranted, at least in this particular situation. To a few people it looks like Intel made a very good job offer with reasonable requirements that are suitable to quite a few American citizens or foreigners and they are to be commended for being transparent with the publication requirements.

      Now THAT's belligerent (even if only a little).

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    11. Anyways, even if a foreigner was working at such a job, they would not be driving your wages down or taking your spot. This person would be highly paid and would be especially sought out by the company. The employers you have to worry about are small shitty outfits that abuse the H1B system and implicitly threaten workers with loss of visa and/or deportation if they ask for a pay raise or don't want to work on the weekends, knowing that they can't simply quit and look for another job. But that's the fault of Americans and American laws actually.

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    12. "If you're synthetic inorganic or synthetic organometallic you could esily have those pubz with the right project." Check.

      The most difficult criteria is probably "History of collaboration with cross-disciplinary academic and/or industrial partners ". If you did an internship at a Fortune 500 chemical company, this is pretty slam dunk checkmark. But it might be a lot harder for folks who never left their academic labs.

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  10. I don't know why they don't just poach someone from SAFC, Air Liquide, or Air Products.

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  11. I don't have anything to add to the H1B discussion, but I don't think this type of qualification criteria is all that uncommon. When I was at Aldrich first author publications in high impact journals were routinely considered in the selection process.

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  12. My own post-doctoral research director demanded that authorship of publications in his group be strictly alphabetical. To his overall advantage, since his surname started with the letter "C". So that meant that I wrote a paper for him on my research and which appeared in JACS, but was only the 2nd author.

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