Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ivory Filter Flask: 3/5/13 edition

Good morning! Between February 26 and March 4, there were 15 academic positions posted on the C&EN Jobs website. The numbers:

Total number of ads: 15
- Postdocs: 1
- Tenure-track faculty:  7
- Temporary faculty: 0
- Lecturer positions:  5
- Staff positions:  2
- US/non-US: 13/2

South Hadley, MA: Mt. Holyoke College desires a professor of physical chemistry; all levels accepted. "Candidates with specialties in interdisciplinary subfields (such as environmental and biophysical chemistry) are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will teach courses at the introductory and advanced levels (general, analytical/instrumental, and physical chemistry), offer upper-level courses in their area of expertise, and conduct externally funded research with undergraduate majors."

Odessa, TX: UT-Permian Basin is looking for a lecturer for general and organic chemistry; M.S. required, Ph.D. desired.

Winnipeg, Manitoba: The University of Manitoba seeks a Ph.D. chemist to be an assistant professor of organic chemistry.

Sweet Briar, VA: Sweet Briar College seeks a M.S./ABD candidate for an adjunct position teaching organic chemistry. No health benefits, baby!

Philadelphia, PA: So why is a group called Mastery Charter Schools looking for B.S./M.S. math and science teachers on C&EN Jobs? Hmmm.

Indianola, IA: Simpson College is searching for an assistant professor of physical chemistry.


  1. The University of Manitoba seeks a Ph.D. chemist to be an assistant professor of organic chemistry.

    This seems like a good time to repost my report on the University of Manitoba, and Winnipeg in general.

    Manitoba is a little sleepy, the first of the Prairie provinces (moving westward). Loads of farming (canola was invented at the university of Manitoba), a bit of manufacturing, a bit of mining up north, and a lot of service jobs in between (insurance companies are big here, for some reason).

    Like a lot of Canadian cities Winnipeg is a mesh of cultures, with Mennonite farmers forming the bulk of the population and Filipinos and Indians the recent arrivals. The city is seen as a testing ground of sorts for a fair bit of marketing campaigns, which has somehow translated into a huge and eclectic mix of restaurants (a vegan burger joint opened up in 2010, just a few blocks away). Their NHL hockey team returned this season, which led to a huge celebration in one of the downtown parks. One downside to the city is the geography. There's a world famous beach about an hour to the north (it graced the pages of Playboy around 1980 or so), beautiful wooded lakes ninety minutes to east, and dunes/badlands to the west. But it's all out of town. Winnipeg is almost as flat as a map, which makes it great for cycling, but your view of the sky isn't ever going to be obstructed by mountain peaks.

    Wow, I went off a bit there. On the matter at hand:

    The department has been hiring a professor or two every year for about a decade, making it a relatively young department. As you'd expect it's primarily a teaching university, but the younger faculty especially have been doing some great work. A new faculty member can expect good shared equipment (XRD, ICP, etc.), and a ready supply of eager undergraduates, but the local pool of potential graduate students is limited. [The Organic research lab was renovated a couple of years back, and is one of the larger labs in the building.]

    I guess that's it. If anyone has questions I'll do my best. I like it here.

    1. I have some questions about the city actually, not the department. How's the weather down in Winterpeg? On a scale of culturally interesting places in Canada of 1-10, with Montreal being 10, Vancouver being 8-9 and Saskatoon being 1, where is Winterpeg? Is it true that there is no spring and autumn and the mosquitoes have a wingspan of 5 cm? Is it really dry in the winter, because when the humidity is below 20%, my skin cracks and starts bleeding.

    2. These are serious questions by the way, in case you're thinking I'm joking. I want to know all this stuff as it will make a big difference in me applying for this job or any others in Winterpeg (which is the official name of the city outside of the prairies; I'm not kidding on this).

      Is this a new posting by the way, or is it a repeat of the posting from August?

    3. Sorry, got distracted by something shiny. This posting is a repeat.

      Winnipeg tends to go from highs of 30C in the summer to lows of -35C or so in the winter (with the colder extremes lasting about a week at most). I'm not going to lie, that's cold. With the extremes it does also get really dry, to the extent that we need to discharge static before weighing on analytical balances. Moisturizers are big here, as you'd expect.

      The mosquitoes were pretty bad the first year I got here, but they've doubled down on pest control since then (dragonflies, mostly). The last 3 years have been nearly mosquito free, and I live within 200m of the Assiniboine river.

      Culturally, Winnipeg has a decent symphony orchestra (not incredible, but good) and a renowned ballet. It also gets a fair number of major bands, which may have something to do with the location (groups heading from Toronto/East coast pass through on their way west). It isn't the equal of Vancouver or Montreal, but only has a population of 700k or so. I'd give it somewhere between 4 and 5.

      As an aside, Saskatoon is probably better than 1. You may be thinking of Regina ;)

  2. Not MB, but pretty close....


    Despite bitter cold winters and hot, mosquito filled, summers, people I now who live in Winnipeg do love it. All the same, having spent a lot of time in San Diego I'm a bit skeptical of the notion of "a world famous beach about an hour to the north". An hour north of Winnipeg? Isn't that the North Pole?

    1. Well, there's a reason Corner Gas never filmed in winter :)

      August and July are beautiful, and everyone seems to have a cabin on the lake. Most of the prairies are farmland, and it was a little strange the first time I went travelling; coming across sand dunes and beautiful beaches.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20