Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 285 research/teaching positions and 47 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 285 research/teaching positions and 47 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On February 18, 2020, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 539 research/teaching positions and 65 teaching faculty positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Go to the fourth open thread. Here's the third open thread, which closed on January 20, 2021. Click here for the second thread, which closed on December 22. Click here for the first open thread, which closed on November 11, 2020.

Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

This will be the fifth open thread, starting at noon Eastern, Tuesday, February 16. 

114 comments:

  1. Any news from Toronto Chemistry/Physics of Quantum Materials?

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    1. I haven't heard anything since the screening interview ~3 weeks ago. Did you get a screening? I imagine that the politics of having a search in two departments means this could take a lot longer than a typical search.

      The stereotype is also that physicists are snobs who would never hire someone with a chemistry degree whereas it happens that chemistry programs hire someone with a physics PhD, so if this is at all true, there may be a bias against chemists in this search.

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    2. They also had a joint search with MSE in computation/AI that disappeared into the void after an initial job ad last summer (or at least I never heard of any updates or people getting interviews).

      As for physicists being snobs, my experience has been that chemists can be just as snobby about people without an official chemistry degree, so they might be looking for the dual-PhD unicorn here.

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  2. Any news from the University of Richmond?

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    1. I submitted my application on Oct 30, but just got an automated email last week from University of Richmond HR saying my application was "currently under review" - not sure if anyone else got the same

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    2. I got the same email last week. However, I remember someone saying probably 2 months ago that Richmond had progressed to on-sites. I figured the email was triggered when they were poking around to send rejection letters, lol.

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  3. Has anyone heard from the University of British Columbia regarding the experimental physical chemistry opening?

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    1. Also waiting to hear something....

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    2. UBC (Experimental Physical Chemistry Position) is scheduling Zoom interviews 02/22

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  4. Caltech posted the ChemE faculty appointment to the CCE website.

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    1. where? I don't see it.

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    2. faculty page shows new member joining 2022 -> I'm just assuming this is the new appointment...

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    3. No, Gözde Demirer was hired during last year's search (as was Shasha Chong).
      https://twitter.com/Demirer_GozdeS/status/1244719676166299649

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    4. Ah, ok - thanks for the clarification.

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  5. Form rejection email from Yale today

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  6. Hypothetical situation: First year applying, get a few onsites, one at a top R1, the rest at much lower ranked schools. Get offer from a low rank R1, rejected from top choices. What would you do: take the offer, or try again next year?

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    1. it seems that you prefer applying again, but I recommend talking to as many senior PIs as possible. Their thoughts or experience would be very valuable.

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    2. I think that there is no wrong answer here. As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. On the other hand, if you do not see yourself being happy or successful somewhere, that is also an extremely important consideration.

      That having been said, I would report that the process feels much much much more unbearable the second time around. It has been very difficult to grapple with the fact that I sunk another year into this postdoc when I feel that I should not have had to do that. As such, I know that if I found myself in your situation, I would take the offer. It's worth asking how you will feel if your second search goes poorly - what if you get a comparable offer, or what if you get one that you are less excited about?

      You have to start your career somewhere. Maybe this position is not exactly what you had envisioned for yourself, but I guess what could be helpful is to consider if there are certain opportunities that are available as a result of the circumstances. For example, some of the programs I'm closing in on have very small groups, and that could be an opportunity to really work with graduate students one-on-one; that is something I can look forward to.

      Best of luck!

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    3. Depends on what resources the low-ranked R1 has. If it can offer all the equipment/space/student resources that you need, I would recommend you take the offer. You can still be quite successful if you have good research ideas and move up in ranking later on. There is no guarantee you will get an offer next year.

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    4. Not the above. I have a follow-up question for that hypothetical situation. If @11:17 accepted the offer at the low rank univ, can he/she still apply for the next cycle ? Is it even possible ?

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    5. Could you be happy there? I'd take it. (Without more specifics, this is what I would likely do)
      Will you be unhappy there? Roll the dice again.

      Lots of good and bad advice above. I definitely support being straight up. If you blow folks off or string them along, it's going to circle back around in reviews. You can always shop around for better positions with tenure in hand.

      Best wishes on your decision!

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  7. @2:40 Possible, and possibly not unheard of. But why would you risk it? Unless you were going for a targeted hire, or a direct offer from a department that offers you more resources/facilities/startup/pay/students I would not do it. If I were a hiring committee, it would raise one or more red flags. It will also create a toxic environment in your current department, they cashed money to get your started, and in your first and second year that's were most of it is all spent to set up the lab. They have not reaped anything out of you yet (no grants, no papers, no recognition, no students graduated, only a few courses taught). On the practical side, if you have time to apply to positions during your first year as a faculty, tell me how you plan to do it in-between preparing courses, setting up labs, writing grant proposals, finishing papers from your post-doc, and getting adjusted to the new position, colleagues, and place (I am assuming there is no family to worry about). All is possible. Is it worth?

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    1. A possible alternative, if applying for the next cycle is the absolute plan and extending the current postdoc is not feasible, would be to take an industry job for the short-term if there is no other viable option. While obviously not the ideal route, it is not unheard of to do this, allows for a 'next cycle application' (in contrast to starting a new postdoc), and you are likely to avoid the red flags of 'jumping ship' as a new PI that @3:16 has mentioned.

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    2. How unethical would it be to accept an offer, delay the start by a year and continue as a postdoc, and apply again the following cycle having already accepted an offer?

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    3. @3:37 -- this is a really bad idea. I cannot imagine a scenario where this would not blow up in your face. Your letter writers would presumably know what is going on, so you would be putting them in a moral dilemma. The community is small, so the university that you are stringing along is likely to find out, and when they do, they will be understandably upset.

      I think the most plausible outcome in that scenario is that you just build a lot of bad will all at once. This would be substantially more damaging to your career aspirations than starting your career at a slightly less than perfect R1.

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    4. Agreed with @4:05, the world of chemistry is very small

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  8. At what length of postdoc does it become a red flag for hiring committees? Is applying in a 3rd year of postdoc too late for chemistry?

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    1. I applied in my 4th year, and based on my experience, not bad at all. I'd not worry, and try to demonstrate your personal growth during your postdoc (broadly science, maturity, collegiality, etc).

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    2. 3rd year PD is definitely not a problem in general, most important is to be consistently productive at a high level. On average, successful candidates have 2-5 years of PD experience from what I have seen, but new hires occasionally have more than five years of PD. People will expect more accomplishments from someone who has been in chemistry longer. Its also better to not bounce around between too many PD groups, it starts to raise red flags, 1-2 postdocs is not a problem, three different PD (or PD-like) positions starts to look bad.

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    3. Three years in an unofficial postdoc (thanks great recession) and then 5 years shifting to 6 (didn't get an offer the first year applying) in a biochem postdoc. After the great sorting, I ended up getting and taking an offer about this time in the cycle at a mid-level R1 that I'm very happy at. I'm probably at the extreme outside, though, and having major chops in multiple areas really helped. If your package is great, I don't think being too long in the tooth is terrible, but I'm sure it becomes more and more of a red flag for some.

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    4. @9:22 Thanks for your feedback! What length of postdoc do you consider "long in the tooth?"

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    5. See, I don't want to put a hard number on it because whatever I pick will be wrong, both because some people will get a job longer than that and some people who haven't been there that long won't. I align generally with 4:46, 5ish total years for a postdoc or two in similar areas with high productivity is easily normal and acceptable. My case seems unusual, but even then not too far off (6 year postdocs in biochem are fairly normal) and my unofficial postdoc was productive and ok combined with a recession, but 9+ years is really on the outside. I did start running off the end of the early-stage investigator cliff, which sucked. Once I get on a search committee, I'll have much larger numbers to compute postdoc trends and can give a less wishy-washy answer.

      Others have said it above, but it bears repeating: sit down with advisors and mentors you trust, and get their opinion on your package and chances. Everyone knows this year was bad, and I'm hopeful there'll be extra openings next year.

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  9. I would love to hear some different perspectives on taking a teaching job (non-tenure track) as a temporary position, with the long-term goal of applying again to R1 jobs or maybe even industry. I don't see people doing this, and I am wondering how it would be perceived by the community evaluating such an applicant.

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    1. R1 Professors still teach, so teaching experience is great to have. But while they have to teach well enough to keep their job and make their salary, the primary goal of an R1 professor is to bring in research dollars to fill the department, college, and university coffers.

      If this is for a semester or maybe a year as a stop-gap because a postdoc ran out during COVID (and your research packet is already top rate), I'd say you're fine and it's perfectly understandable, maybe even a bonus. Any longer and it could be perceived as your career trajectory, desired or not. It might be better to burnish your research credentials further by finding something that would give you further training and maybe another paper or two for the next year.

      I'm curious about other folks' opinions.

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    2. A visiting assistant professor position can be a good way to bridge a postdoc and a tenure track position, especially if it is at a small liberal arts college with money. The teaching commitment is a lot, but it's possible to make time to pursue your own research and you can even take on undergrad research students. They also pay well and come with benefits.

      None of that applies to adjunct teaching positions. Those seem like a total scam. But if that what you can get I suppose its better than nothing (and that's the scam).

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    3. My experience is that departments are very happy when a VAP offers to do research but they will never offer meaningful support, since VAPs transient, are after all. Anyone who enters such arrangements sets himself up for exploitation. At least with adjunct position you know it's a scam.

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    4. @3:22 *themself. I've had enough with sexism from hiring committees, let's not perpetuate it here too.

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    5. @7:32 you witnessed sexism in hiring committees this year? I would be interested in your experience.

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  10. I am looking for opinions on follow up emails... I had a prelim interview to a university where another member of the same group did. Now I know that the other member of the same group got an on-site interview (ahhh, the grapevine), but there is no official email from the search committee that I have not been selected. I should have heard something at the beginning of this week. Should I inquire about the status? Should I just drop it and cover myself with my self-commiseration blanket?

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    1. I would say your chances of getting the on-site at this point are slim, but not zero. Imo it takes just the tiniest amount of human decency to send a copy/paste rejection email to the few people who you've already had a face-to-face Zoom conversation with, so I always ask for an update when I'm in a similar situation. I know it's petty, but I'm going to try and force you to say no if you don't have the decency to do it on your own. On the other hand, perhaps you'll learn you haven't been eliminated just yet.

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    2. A visiting assistant professor position can be a good way to bridge a postdoc and a tenure track position, especially if it is at a small liberal arts college with money. The teaching commitment is a lot, but it's possible to make time to pursue your own research and you can even take on undergrad research students. They also pay well and come with benefits.

      None of that applies to adjunct teaching positions. Those seem like a total scam. But if that what you can get I suppose its better than nothing (and that's the scam).

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    3. IMO, follow up emails after an interview (either on site or virtual) are ok. It is totally understandable and I doubt any chair would feel annoyed by it (most of those will be answered by admin assistants anyway).

      In this particular case, though, if you already know that they went ahead with other candidates, I would advice to focus on a more productive use of your time. You have nothing to win out of it. Most likely they won't even give you any feedback. Don't overthink it and move on.

      I feel you. It is a cruel system, and this year more than ever. Don't let it get into you. Good luck!

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  11. Did anyone hear anything from UHSP in St. Louis ? Thanks

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    1. They started Zoom interviews two weeks ago. I do not know if they started virtual on-sites or not!

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  12. After how many years in industry become a red flag for hiring committees?

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  13. After receiving job offers, do you ask for in-person visit before you can accept the offer? (The entire interview process was virtual; they don’t talk about potential in-person visit).

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    1. I did. That's also a good excuse to extend the deadline.

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    2. I did, as well. I can't fathom making this kind of major life decision without seeing where my lab and home would be.

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    3. I did last year, but with COVID there might be flight restrictions so that may not be an option this year.

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  14. Does anybody know if Berkeley has already conducted interviews and given offer to candidates?

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    1. Still nothing on this one? Quite a few weeks past when they said they would notify everyone.

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    2. Form rejection from Berkeley today

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    3. @6:16 Were you an onsite candidate at Berkeley?

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    4. I would like to point out for EVERYONE's sake that they are under no obligations to answer questions from other commenters.

      I would ALSO like to discourage people from asking questions that will deanonymize fellow commenters non-reciprocally.

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  15. Interviews are complete, but as for an offer ��‍♂️

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    1. ^ lol apparently emojis don't code well. Not sure about an offer!

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    2. If they told you that you are their top candidate during the interview, do they really mean that or they just tell everyone the same thing? I only had 2 interview, so feel very uncertain if I could land on an offer.

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    3. I would think that would be a good sign, but unfortunately nice words are just nice words until you get an offer. In general I would say most faculty wouldn't say things they don't mean, but it's hard to put a ton of stock into one person's opinion in these matters. As much as it sucks, just have to wait and see how things shake out. Good luck!

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    4. I agree that any sort of compliment doesn't mean much until there is actually an offer attached. I had a search chair end my visit by telling me that they had "a good feeling" about my candidacy, only to learn ~a week later that the position had already been offered to and accepted by someone else.

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    5. I have come to learn that even glowing responses from faculty in response to your thank-you emails (or even sayings like "if it were up to me, you'd have the job") mean nothing when it comes to getting an offer, sadly.

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    6. I once had an on-site interview, I wrote thank-you notes to everyone I met. Everyone single one of them replied with words such as, "great", "...future colleague", "look forward to working with you", etc. In the end, I didn't get the offer. So yea...good words are not reliable.

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  16. Lafayette is scheduling Zoom interviews.

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  17. Does any one hear any updates from Kennesaw State?

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    1. Kennesaw State has scheduled virtual on-site interviews

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  18. Any updates from Lawrence Technological University?

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  19. Any words from Utah Materials Chemistry ?

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  20. Villanova is scheduling Zoom interviews for the Teaching Assistant Professor position.

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  21. Kansas State is scheduling (new?) screening interviews. They have virtual on-site candidates on their website from back in January, so I'm not sure if they struck out on those candidates or if it was something else.

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  22. Any news from University of Southern Mississippi, School of Polymer Science and Engineering after screening interviews?

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    1. They have already finished the onsite.

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    2. It is always fun being ghosted after an interview. A rejection would have been nice.

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    3. I agree. I have been ghosted twice after first round interviews this year. The search committees can be much more professional and respectful to our inputs in those interviews. But they just disappeared...

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  23. Rejection received from Emory after onsite.

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    1. Sorry to hear that .. Hope you will get an offer from somewhere else

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  24. Any news from Oklahoma (inorganic materials), TAMU-Corpus Christi and UMass-Boston (inorganic)?

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    1. umass boston has on sites scheduled

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    2. I had a screening at Oklahoma for the inorganic materials position last week, but have not heard anything since.

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    3. I haven't heard anything from TAMU-Corpus Christi.

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  25. Received email that the search at UNevada-Reno has been cancelled (experimental physical).

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    1. Same here. Weird, someone posted they were running preliminary interviews on Feb 11th.

      I wonder if this has happened to other openings this year, only they did not communicate it. The number of positions without any update is abnormally high.

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    2. These are strange times... I am not even sure we will be able to go back to normal in the next 2-3 years (in terms of numbers of positions, numbers of candidates, and positions filled). There is already a backlog of candidates from 2019-2020 which is carrying over this cycle, and will spill over to the next one too...

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  26. Did anyone hear back from UBC after their initial screening?

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  27. Has anyone heard anything from SJSU after their screening interviews?

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  28. Has anyone had an onsite with Auburn for the pchem position? I was invited for a virtual onsite back in December, but they haven't scheduled it yet.

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    1. Maybe you should follow up with the search chair on that. 2-3 months is a long time to wait for an interview to be scheduled.

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    2. I have. They have a full seminar schedule. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    3. @3:22 *themself. I've had enough with sexism from hiring committees, let's not perpetuate it here too.

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  29. Have R1 schools like Caltech, Berkeley, and MIT already made offers after the interviews? If so, in which fields?

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    1. I believe that Berkeley has already made offers. I was just rejected after the onsite today.

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    2. Also, Caltech just sent a rejection email today.

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    3. MIT canceled their search.

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  30. Any news from Rhodes College?

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    1. I haven't heard back from them since the initial interview in December

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  31. Any news from below universities?
    Norwich University
    Southwestern University
    Indiana Tech University
    Marian University
    University of Wisconsin
    St. Mary's College

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    1. I got an initial interview request from Indiana Tech last Saturday.

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  32. Is anyone else being told that startup budgets are lower this year due to COVID?

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    1. That is absolutely an excuse

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    2. Agree with above. If they advertised a position (regardless of tier), they knew the startup funding expectation.

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  33. Has anyone heard from UNT (North Texas) comp chem position?

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    1. Nothing on my end. They reached out for rec. letters and then went silent!

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  34. Received rejection email from UNLV

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  35. Rejection email from the University of Washington.

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    1. I received a rejection last week after second round interviews. I expect they made their offer(s).

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  36. Has anybody heard from NYU comp chem position yet?

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  37. They've been doing onsites for a few weeks now.

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  38. What kind of questions normally do you get during the on-sites ? and with whom normally the interviews are ?

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  39. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that. TheJustReviews

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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