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News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
 
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Author Topic: ...to apply, or not to apply...  (Read 33959 times)
my_crobe
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Posts: 91


« on: June 20, 2012, 2:59:51 PM »

I'm finishing up the first year of my postdoc and had some problems. These problems concerned learning a programming language as part of my overall project. I am by no means a programmer and had no experience in doing this sort of work previously, and my boss knew this. I was reassured that there would be support to help me along the way, but I was never able to get to the point (after ~6 months) where I could write scripts to assist in data analyses. In spite of this, Iíll still get at least one publication from the lab work I contributed. My PI still likes my work and recognizes my strengths to be in the lab and I've recently moved onto a different project that takes advantage of this. Hereís my quandary: A faculty position was recently advertised in a different department (same school) at the same Big University where I'm currently employed. Itís more of a teaching position (a bit less research intensive) which is fine with me because I really love teaching and canít imagine wielding a pipetor in a lab well into my 50ís! I would like to find out more about this position and the department, but I also donít want to come across as being ungrateful to my current PI. He seems like a really nice and above-board kind of guy. Since itís at the same university, is it possible to start a faculty position after the first year of postdoc-ing and still maintain a presence in my current lab? I donít want to let a great opportunity pass by, but I also donít want to muddy the waters where Iím currently employed either. Any suggestions would be well received and greatly appreciated.
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whynotevolve
Hoping not to win the Darwin award
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Posts: 82


« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 3:51:07 PM »

I am also a post-doc finishing my first year, so grain of salt.  But I would apply for the damn job.  No reason not to try for it and see what happens.  You can talk to your PI about it.  In most cases, they understand that you are looking for a long term position and would support your choice.  You might try to keep doing research with PI if you would like to keep publishing (something that is unlikely if you are in a teaching role alone).  That would be something to work out with them, but not until you have actually been offered a job.
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kron3007
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Posts: 1,121


« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 4:17:23 PM »

I would suggest that you discuss this with your boss before you apply, but I would suggest that you apply.  your boss will likely be supportive and could be valuable to your application.

If you apply without discussing it, there is a good chance that it will get back to them.  I think it is better to let the cat out of the bag.
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whynotevolve
Hoping not to win the Darwin award
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Posts: 82


« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 12:39:35 PM »

I agree with Kron about talking to your PI before you apply. 
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my_crobe
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Posts: 91


« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 3:04:32 PM »

I will definitely talk to him before I send off my cv. He travels quite a bit though and won't be back in the country until sometime next week. I suppose I could e-mail him , but I think this is something better handled face to face... thoughts?
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
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Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 8:45:15 PM »

How is your relationship with your advisor?

In similar circumstances, I wrote an email to my advisor like:

Hi Advisor,

The Department of X has an opening that I think would be great for me.  <two or three sentences of what they want and how I fit it>  Will you write me a letter of recommendation?

Best,

Polly


You're a postdoc; you're supposed to be applying for positions.
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
my_crobe
Junior member
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Posts: 91


« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 5:47:22 PM »

Well... I applied... and I had a phone interview this morning. I think it went well and I'm cautiously optimistic. In the meantime, I also applied for a teaching internship at one of the local liberal arts colleges... when it rains, it pours... I'll be starting that in just a few weeks. So it looks as though teaching is in my immediate future!
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 6:23:34 PM »

That's wonderful!  Thanks for updating us and good luck!
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
my_crobe
Junior member
**
Posts: 91


« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 11:25:19 AM »

Thanks for the moral support... it looks like I'm on to the next phase of the process... wish me luck!
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 2:30:41 PM »

Good luck!
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
my_crobe
Junior member
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Posts: 91


« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 3:32:34 PM »

Thanks... I'd like to get everyone's take on the situation that has evolved. I had an interview nearly two months ago and everything looked promising. I heard back from the Department Chair and it sounds like he's willing to commit. Additionally, my PI is willing to support part of my salary while I'm teaching in the other department. Everything is sounding positive, but I've not been offered the position. We're supposed to be starting in January. I've very keen on pursuing this (obviously) but another faculty position has become available at a different institution. Clearly I'm in the running for the current positions and we're in negotiations, but I'm sort of wanting to hedge my bets and apply for the other position as well just in case things fall through at the 11th hour... thought and opinions welcomed...
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 9:15:40 AM »

It's the week before Thanksgiving.  If someone wanted to know anything about a job search at this point, then I'm sure I'm not the only person who would stare in disbelief.

I have stacks of labs to grade that are so high that I can't see over them.  I am administering two tests today.  I am on the hook to visit multiple presentations as part of my job as assessment committee.  I have so many 1 Dec deadlines staring me in the face that I can hardly breathe.  And, you want to know about a position in January that's actually in negotiations?

Apply and you'll have a back-up plan.  Don't apply and what happens?  You will still have the postdoc at a minimum, right?  Apply for any permanent position that interests you.
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
kron3007
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 1,121


« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 11:15:53 AM »

I would apply, never bank on a position that is not set in stone.
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my_crobe
Junior member
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Posts: 91


« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 10:14:08 AM »

Actually... regardless of it being the week prior to the Thanksgiving break... I heard back from the Dean last Friday afternoon reiterating his interest in bringing me on board. However, he stopped just short of offering me a contract to sign. He did say that the process will be over and a decision will be made by the end of the month. He didn't elaborate on why, but I'm assuming that certain faculty may already be out of town for the break. In the meantime, he directed his administrative assistant to forward me the course materials so that I can start looking them over in advance of the semester beginning in January. Who ever said that this whole process is nebulous and convoluted, greatly understated their assessment!

Thanks to everyone for their timely and greatly appreciated advice.

Have a wonderful holiday....
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polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,443

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 10:56:33 AM »

If they are sending you the materials so you can get started prepping, then you likely have the job.  Congratulations!
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I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
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