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The "alt-ac" track

September 24, 2010, 12:21 pm

After an epic and ultimately unsatisfying (but not technically failed) tenure-track job search, I began to wonder once again what exactly it was I wanted to be when I grew up. At that moment, I saw an intriguing ad for a job as one of the directors of a well-funded and exciting research center in my field. I applied, despite my conviction that I was underqualified… and got the job. And now here I am, trying to figure out how to get things done (the 75% administrative part of my job) while not losing myself (the 25% research part of my job). So far, so good… but we’re just getting started.

Unlike the graduate school/post-doc/adjunct/tenure-track world, there isn’t much out there in the blogosphere about jobs like this one. The first time I saw the phrase “alt-ac track” was in this recent article at ProfHacker, and even in that article there’s no acknowledgment that such jobs exist in the sciences. I decided to start this blog to write about what it’s like to be in this position, and hopefully meet other people in the same kind of career. So… hello!

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