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Academic Jobs in a Nutshell Borrows heavily from Tom Wenisch’s “Job Talk” Talk. Nate Derbinsky 10 January 2012. Outline. Factors for Consideration Types of Institutions Types of Jobs Application Materials. 1. Factors. Autonomy Salary Resources Responsibilities

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Academic jobs in a nutshell borrows heavily from tom wenisch s job talk talk

Academic Jobs in a NutshellBorrows heavily from Tom Wenisch’s “Job Talk” Talk

Nate Derbinsky

10 January 2012


Outline
Outline

  • Factors for Consideration

  • Types of Institutions

  • Types of Jobs

  • Application Materials


1 factors
1. Factors

  • Autonomy

  • Salary

  • Resources

  • Responsibilities

  • Performance Evaluation

  • Timeline/Process

  • Prospects

  • Comparison to Industry/Gov’t


Autonomy
Autonomy

  • Degree of supervision

    • Do you have a boss?

  • Tenure

    • Freedom to pursue your curiosities (subject to grants/centers, departmental initiatives, …)


Salary
Salary

  • Sponsored/Soft money

    • Ongoing: you need to secure moneys to pay your salary

  • Non-Sponsored/General fund

    • Your salary is “reliable” and guaranteed through some process/fund external to your fund-raising efforts

  • Absolute amount + potential for growth

  • 9-month vs. 12-month


Resources
Resources

  • Graduate students

    • Think about your life right now: these are the folks who do all the work 

  • Collaborators

    • Intra/Inter-departmental

  • Administrative staff

    • Everyday, special projects (e.g. conferences), admissions, budgeting, etc.

  • Teaching assistance

    • Lecturers, GSI/IA, feedback (e.g. CRLT)

  • Institutional funding opportunities

  • Computational/equipment (e.g. cluster computing)


Responsibilities
Responsibilities

  • Teaching

    • Comfort zone vs. not, new vs. old, service

  • Research

    • Grad vs. undergrad, self-promotion, raising $$

  • Service

    • Committees, advising, research community (e.g. run a conference, review), leadership

  • Mentoring

    • Grad vs. undergrad, placement

  • Workload

    • Does the work ever end?


Performance evaluation
Performance Evaluation

  • Research

    • Publications (venues), “impact” (e.g. h-index), student progress/placement, letters (student, research community), bringing in $$, career award

  • Teaching

    • Student evaluations, student letters, innovation/publications

  • Service

    • “Take one for the team,” outreach, balancing T/R


Timeline process
Timeline/Process

  • Typical

    • 3 + 3 (+1)

    • Startup package

      • various colors of $$ (equipment, students, summer salary)

      • teaching

  • Variables/Issues

    • Retention rate

    • Clarity of expectations

      • Who is deciding (esp. relevant for co-appointment)

      • What are the baselines


Prospects
Prospects

  • Basics

    • Title: assistant, associate, full, endowed chair

    • Base-salary increase

    • Tenure (usually with associate)

    • Sabbatical (4/7 years, ½ + ½ pay)

  • Tech transfer/spinoff

  • Administration

  • Program manager


Comparison to industry gov t
Comparison to Industry/Gov’t

  • Autonomy: > (e.g. 6.1 vs. 6.2-3)

  • Salary: <

  • Resources: <> (e.g. students, equipment/data)

  • Responsibilities: <> (e.g. teaching, funding)

    • Hours: worse (e.g. >80 hours/week), never-ending

      • But you are in “control”


2 types of institutions
2. Types of Institutions

  • Teaching/Liberal Arts (T1)

    • Oberlin, Harvey Mudd, Swarthmore

  • Comprehensive

    • Eastern/Western *

  • Research (R1)

    • Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, CMU

    • Brown, Yale, Princeton, Harvard


Institutional factors
Institutional Factors

  • Degree offerings (BS, MS, PhD)

    • Location of program (e.g. Math, Engineering, Business), own department?

  • Student population

    • Balance of undergrad vs. grad

  • School location

  • Professional schools (e.g. Med)

  • Teaching load


Rough categorization
Rough Categorization

T1

R1

BS, MS, PhD

Large student pop. (10k’s)

More urban

Mix of professional degrees

0-2 courses per semester

Buyout!

  • BS (maybe MS)

  • Small student pop. (1000’s)

  • More rural

  • No professional degrees

  • 3-4 courses per semester


3 types of jobs
3. Types of Jobs

  • Post Doc

  • Research Scientist/Professor

  • Lecturer/Teaching-Professor

  • Tenure-Track Professor


Post doc
Post Doc

  • Temporary employment (1-3 years)

    • Usually research, maybe teaching

  • Typically working for a faculty member

    • Possibly independent funding (e.g. fellowship)

    • Common to get position via “who you know”

      • Sources: academic, gov’t labs (e.g. AFRL, NRL)

  • Goals

    • Avoid the real world (travel!)

    • Better preparation for the job search

      • Letters, experience/CV, job-market conditions

      • Make progress, distinguish from thesis/advisor


Research scientist professor
Research Scientist/Professor

  • Research only, soft money

  • Variable autonomy

  • Rarely tenuretrack


Lecturer teaching professor
Lecturer/Teaching Professor

  • Teaching only (renewable appointments)

    • Some intermittent hires ~ enrollment

  • Evaluated on teaching

    • High loads, lots of intro/service courses

  • Rarely tenure-track


Tenure track professor
Tenure-Track Professor

  • Autonomous from day-1

    • Must become a…

      • R1: World-class researcher & competent teacher

        • Bring in $$, produce high-impact research, and place students

      • T1: Innovative teacher & competent researcher

        • Teach lots of courses very well, and place students


Transitions
Transitions

  • Post Doc -> *

  • Academia -> Industry

    • Harder in reverse

  • R1 -> T1 (not easy)

    • Harder in reverse

  • Industry -> T1 (not easy)

    • Maybe via Community College


4 application materials
4. Application Materials

  • Cover Letter

  • CV

  • Teaching Statement

  • Research Statement

  • Letters (3-5)


Cover letter 1 day 1 page
Cover Letter (~1 day, 1 page)

  • Intended position

  • Summary of packet, relative to position

  • Opportunity to specialize to post


Cv 1 day
CV (~1 day)

  • Arbitrarily long

    • Honors/awards

    • Publications

    • Service

    • Teaching

  • Should be maintained incrementally

    • Have an easy-to-navigate website with links to your papers and presentations


Teaching stmt 1 2 wks 1 2 pgs
Teaching Stmt. (~1-2 wks, 1-2 pgs)

  • Experience

  • Philosophy

  • Interests/Qualifications

    • Research seminar

    • T1: show flexibility, more detail


Research stmt 1 4 wks 1 4 pgs
Research Stmt (~1-4 wks, 1-4 pgs)

  • Broad vision

  • Dissertation work

    • Cite own papers

  • Plan (5-years)

    • Build on strengths, expand, take some risk

    • T1: incorporation of undergrads


Letters
Letters

  • In-depth, extensive, “coded”

  • From…

    • Committee

    • Better: internal collaborators

    • Better: external collaborators (academia > industry)

    • Best: academic leaders in the field

  • How…

    • Collaborate

    • Visibility: good work, good talks, good questions

      • Conferences, invited talks, service

  • Provide application materials at least

    • Keep up with deadlines, coordinate with writers


Process
Process

  • Read posts (do not be dissuaded by fields)

    • Fall ‘X for Fall ‘X+1

  • Submit materials (web, e-mail, snail)

    • Provide letter info (usually immediate request)

      • Make sure recommenders submit letters

  • Wait…

    • Possibly phone interview (T1?)

    • Onsite: 1-hour job talk, many 30-60-minute individual meetings, student meetings, dinner

    • Offer scheduling


Misc

  • Apply widely

    • But not where you wouldn’t want to take the job

  • The goal of the application packet is to get an interview

  • Two-body problems (& solutions)


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