Friday, July 21, 2017

UNH: "Experience must include 4 years of post-doctoral research experience in the field of Organic Chemistry"

When I am looking at faculty jobs postings, I am usually just entering the facts (department, geography, subfield.) It usually takes a lot to make me notice the fine details, especially when the boilerplate is mostly the same. This ad from UNH-Durham was a little different:
Summary of Position
Within the Department of Chemistry in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of New Hampshire, the candidate will teach undergraduate courses in organic chemistry as well as graduate courses, including organic synthesis, and to develop new courses. The faculty member will be responsible for maintaining a productive program of research and scholarship in the field of organic chemistry, and organic synthesis and its applications to problems in chemical biology (e.g. biological catalysis, structural biology, biomaterials or other related areas). Will also advise and mentor undergraduate and graduate level students. 
Acceptable Minimum Qualifications
Candidates must possess a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry. Experience must include 4 years of post-doctoral research experience in the field of Organic Chemistry (emphasis CJ's) and at least one academic year of post-secondary teaching experience pre or post Ph.D. Demonstrated research experience with publications in peer-reviewed journals is required. 
Documents Needed to Apply 
Required Documents
Resume/Vita
4 years?!?! Chemists aren't biologists!

Twitter chatter has strongly speculated this is an internal candidate; Andre astutely notes the resume/vita requirement seems a bit thin.

Can I make a suggestion to the broader world, or at least the chemistry community? When you have an internal candidate and you're 98%+ sure that you're hiring that guy, but the HR department still makes you post the ad, I would really suggest that the hiring contact's name be Don T. Bother. That would save a lot of time for everyone involved.  

13 comments:

  1. "Candidates should have 5.23 years of postdoctoral experience in the field of organic chemistry, an ex-wife named Lorraine and a 3 year old Shiba Inu/Collie mix called Wuffles Jr..."

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    1. This comment is why CJ needs a "like" button.

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  2. Now I feel less bad about entering my 4th year of my postdoc.

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  3. Anonymous 2:20: You should apply, by the time the job starts you would have met there requirements. That would throw a wrench into it.

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  4. Yeah seriously. I'm a biochemist, husband is an organic chemist. My field's postdoc is typically 3 years minimum (often more for academia), his was supposed to be 3 years maximum--he also finished his PhD a year faster than me. When I asked if he could stretch out his postdoc (to 4 years) to make our two body problem a little less complicated he was advised that a postdoc longer than 3 years was career suicide unless he got a Nature/Science paper.

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    1. Yeah when I started my postdoc (organic chemist) I was told same thing. Then about year 2.5 the adviser acted like that conversation never happened...it took me until about year 4.25 to exit. I actually fared well in the job market and am happily employed...albeit with a merger looming...

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  5. It is quite on purpose. People with 4 years chemistry postdocs applying to do the bitchwork of teaching chemistry to engineering undergrads and graduate students probably cannot get a better job in industry (a visa problem?), and they demonstrated their willingness to work over an extended period for a very little money and will not be too ambitious about doing their own research (frankly teaching several classes, preparing the coursework and the exam questions, then grading the exams is lots of work, there will not be energy left do do research). It is an ideal candidate to take a load off the more senior faculty members

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    1. I know plenty of talented individuals who want a job that is teaching intensive with some research. Several would prefer it to R1. It's not just people who can't hack it in industry who apply for those sorts of jobs.

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  6. I heard of a situation where a professor job was advertised in a college town's local paper for just this reason, to make sure no one but the pre-chosen candidate actually applied!

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    1. this is often done to get labor department clearance for H1B, to prove that no US candidate was better qualified for that position (it is a silly requirement when the real turnoff is low salary that a foreign PhD chemist is willing to take)

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    2. This was a friend of a friend's 2-body situation, but the H1B thing certainly happens too.

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  7. I saw a perfunctory job posting that explicitly stated they had an internal candidate in mind already (and might have even stated their name, oddly enough). Saved a lot of time on everyone's part.

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