Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ivory Filter Flask: 6/16/15 edition

Good morning! A few of the academically-related positions posted to C&EN Jobs:

Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University is looking for an assistant professor of forensic chemistry.

Berkeley, CA: UC-Berkeley is looking for a Ph.D. chemist to become the director of the NMR laboratory. Two years experience desired. Potential salary: $67,656 to $103,584.

Urbana, IL: UIUC is looking for a professor of materials research to become the director of the Materials Research Laboratory.

Fayetteville, AR: There's so much to weep about in this postdoc at the University of Arkansas:
The postdoctoral fellow will assist supervising research projects in membrane separations involving membrane surface engineering, developing novel membranes and membrane processes for water treatment and bio-separation..... This position is for one year only but can be extended to up to three years upon successful performance and mutual agreement. 
Minimum Qualifications: PhD in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering with three years of research experience in polymer science with regard to synthetic polymeric membranes and membrane-based separation processes.
3 years, 3 long years. (What is the median length of a postdoc these days, anyways?)

UPDATE: Interesting update from See Arr Oh on postdoc length from those who become faculty hires.

Last minute lecturer: Gustavus Adolphus College (St Peter, MN) is looking for a visiting assistant professor to teach just about everything (organic, gen chem, biochemistry) to start this September. 


  1. The positions like the U of Arkansas appear to be increasingly more common. How can you justify paying poor wages in exchange for "training" when there is a prerequisite that effectively ensures that you won't need much training? The purpose of a postdoc has shifted away from training and towards building up the publication section of your CV, much to the detriment of postdoc (especially those that end up leaving academia after a postdoc that didn't teach them a new skill set).

    On the topic of "how long is a postdoc?", three years is about the average at my current institute. Most of the postdocs here have worked for ~2 years, then started their job search. Depending on how long it takes to get a job, that makes the postdoc 2.5 to 3 years long.

  2. Last Minute Lecturer: they call it a "full-time one-year position of Visiting Assistant Professor", but then say:

    "We are interested in applicants who will complement our commitment to students and faculty from diverse cultural groups, and who will diversify the expertise and experiences represented in the department."

    I guess they can get away with being so choosy, even for a temp position. Also, PhD required. For a school that appears to be far away from any large population center..... *sigh*

    1. If this diversity block stays up, I'm going to have to pull a Rachel Dolezal just to have a job.

    2. Eastern Washington University is proud to host the Moore-Dolezal Institute For Aspirational Ethnicity. Courses include Your Color Isn't In the Rainbow - So Get Out, Needing to Belong for the Ethnically Confused and/or Employment-Challenged, You Are "The Other," You Are Not "The Other," Strategic Tanning Lamps - or You Don't Have to Always Stay This Color, Hair Morphology Adjustment and Dyeing Treatments, Melatonin Is Your Friend, Appropriate Roles of Biological and Foster Parents, Remedial Speech Observation and Imitation, The Bizarre Mechanics of Cultural Pride (Why We Disavow Half Our Heritage), and of course, How to Check the Right Box(es) on the Form. Our slogans are, "You're always passing...until you aren't," and "Once you've been black, you won't want to go back."

    3. Ha. I'm trying to get an official diagnosis for depression, so to obtain a federal job, while still just being a heterosexual, white male. Of course, once I have a long-term job, then the depression will disappear.

    4. Once you have "depression" or any other kind of "mental illness" on an official record you will be toast in terms of a job. If that gets on the internet you will be toast in terms of a date as well. The only think I can think of that might be worse is having your mug-shot on the internet.

      Just move to Indiana.

  3. I had an experience with UArk - Fayetteville. I was recruited to join a lab there. They seemed really eager. There was this flurry of e-mail exchanges about their research program, and then suddenly, nothing. I sent a couple of polite e-mails asking whether there was some issue, and never heard back from them. I doubt this constitutes unprofessional behavior anymore (the standards for professional behavior in this country seem to keep sinking), but I thought it was flaky.

    It did seem like a nice, even interesting, area. I think my main problem there would have been the high humidity.