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Author Topic: British universities: what to bear in mind?  (Read 12758 times)
mingus
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 8:14:38 PM »

Thanks for the insights on the job security front.
What about teaching? Are there student evaluations? Can someone explain the way teaching is broken down, by lecture/discussion, by hours in a semester, by teaching responsibility? Also, co-teaching seems more common in the UK. How is that done? Who gets credit?
There's also a lot said about funding. In the humanities in the US, finding funding is not considered a huge component of research productivity. But is the case different in the UK?
Also, I'm wondering if anyone has experience as an American teaching Brits. Does our funny accent create problems? How about teaching their culture/history to them? Also, how does being an American faculty work when your colleagues are all Brits?

Teaching: Best to look at the particular places you are interested in.

Funding: Can't say; I'm not in the humanities.

American teaching Brits: There are people from all over the world working in UK universities.   You will serve yourself well if you don't view "American" as "special" or "different".   I think you know what I mean.
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realbusacad
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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2012, 4:55:24 AM »


American Uni:
Pros -
- a lot better pay - especially at assistant/associate levels - maximum salary for assistant in UK is around 42k or $60k; associate would be 53k (national pay scales dictate levels, there is no freedom to pay good people at good places more - thanks unions!)
- a lot lower cost of living
- nicer weather
- nicer people
- much less administration work associated with teaching any one programme/course
Cons -
- students have greater sense of entitlement (although the balance will change when UK student fees for undergraduates in the UK all essentially triple next year)

UK Uni:
Pros - 
- you can create an imagine among your friends that you have an 18th century Oxford don style office with oak panelling, a big chesterfield sofa and spend your days smoking a pipe and having scholarly debates
- errrr......
Cons -
- the REF has destroyed a lot of places - hiring people solely based on (often European) publications who literally cannot teach, while at the same time tripling student fees has created horrendous situations in many places (Warwick, Bath, Cardiff) that has packed in useless staff who contribute nothing and will never leave - this will take a decade to sort out. Ship sinking. Smart rats leaving.

A US person entering a better UK university would be expected to have several top level US ranked publications  (and continue to generate these) - and also pay said person under half what they could get in the US. This does not an attractive offer make.
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britmom
I'm a grant getting
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2012, 5:34:00 AM »




American Uni:
Pros -
- a lot lower cost of living


Ermm, this depends upon where you're living.


American Uni:
Pros -
- nicer weather
- nicer people


This is entirely subjective and useless advice unless you offer further explanation.



Cons -
- the REF has destroyed a lot of places - hiring people solely based on (often European) publications who literally cannot teach, while at the same time tripling student fees has created horrendous situations in many places (Warwick, Bath, Cardiff) that has packed in useless staff who contribute nothing and will never leave - this will take a decade to sort out. Ship sinking. Smart rats leaving.

Please remember that UK does not = England. The situation is somewhat different in Scotland.



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Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy - Girl Interrupted
britsci
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 6:37:55 AM »


- you can create an imagine among your friends that you have an 18th century Oxford don style office with oak panelling, a big chesterfield sofa and spend your days smoking a pipe and having scholarly debates


This is pretty much entirely why I went into academia.
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monita
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2012, 11:59:25 AM »

Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?
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bacardiandlime
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That makes me more gangster than you


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« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2012, 12:01:50 PM »

Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?

Yes, but they won't leave you hanging the way a US committee can. The date of the interviews is often posted in the job ad, and is typically within 8 weeks of the deadline. After the interview, you should find out within 24 hours if you got the job.
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monita
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 12:05:08 PM »

Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?

Yes, but they won't leave you hanging the way a US committee can. The date of the interviews is often posted in the job ad, and is typically within 8 weeks of the deadline. After the interview, you should find out within 24 hours if you got the job.

Thanks.  That's good and bad - good that they're a bit faster than in the US, but bad since that probably means I'm out of the running on this one.  Bummer.
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wegie
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 1:00:36 PM »


Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?

Yes, but they won't leave you hanging the way a US committee can. The date of the interviews is often posted in the job ad, and is typically within 8 weeks of the deadline. After the interview, you should find out within 24 hours if you got the job.

Thanks.  That's good and bad - good that they're a bit faster than in the US, but bad since that probably means I'm out of the running on this one.  Bummer.

If you've saved the job ad or the further particulars, there should be something telling you about the notification process and their interview timeline. Boilerplate like "interviews will be conducted on either 21st or 22nd of March" or "candidates who have not been contacted within X weeks of the closing date should assume that they have not been successful" will usually be lurking somewhere to give one an idea of when to abandon hope.
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monita
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Posts: 908


« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2012, 1:28:07 PM »


Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?

Yes, but they won't leave you hanging the way a US committee can. The date of the interviews is often posted in the job ad, and is typically within 8 weeks of the deadline. After the interview, you should find out within 24 hours if you got the job.

Thanks.  That's good and bad - good that they're a bit faster than in the US, but bad since that probably means I'm out of the running on this one.  Bummer.

If you've saved the job ad or the further particulars, there should be something telling you about the notification process and their interview timeline. Boilerplate like "interviews will be conducted on either 21st or 22nd of March" or "candidates who have not been contacted within X weeks of the closing date should assume that they have not been successful" will usually be lurking somewhere to give one an idea of when to abandon hope.


It says that interviews will be conducted 'in March'.   So, hope is not lost, but it seems to be on the way out...
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scotia
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Posts: 7,183


« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2012, 2:10:36 PM »


Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?

Yes, but they won't leave you hanging the way a US committee can. The date of the interviews is often posted in the job ad, and is typically within 8 weeks of the deadline. After the interview, you should find out within 24 hours if you got the job.

Thanks.  That's good and bad - good that they're a bit faster than in the US, but bad since that probably means I'm out of the running on this one.  Bummer.

If you've saved the job ad or the further particulars, there should be something telling you about the notification process and their interview timeline. Boilerplate like "interviews will be conducted on either 21st or 22nd of March" or "candidates who have not been contacted within X weeks of the closing date should assume that they have not been successful" will usually be lurking somewhere to give one an idea of when to abandon hope.


It says that interviews will be conducted 'in March'.   So, hope is not lost, but it seems to be on the way out...

My first lecturing job I contacted a co-author about a paper about three weeks after the interview date for a job in his department and asked casually if he would mind looking over my application to give some guidance on what I needed to improve. His response was that he couldn't do that because they hadn't yet short-listed, and that the HR person looking after the search was so useless that I shouldn't lose hope for at least another month. I got the job. The HR person was moved to another role a few weeks later.


American Uni:
Pros -
- a lot better pay - especially at assistant/associate levels

That seems to be field dependent. Definitely the case in business, but not so in other areas. We have some humanities people who much prefer the salary they get in the UK to what they were earning in the US in over-supplied fields.
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monita
Senior member
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Posts: 908


« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2012, 4:06:45 PM »


Should I assume that British universities share the "don't ever bug the search committee, ever" rule we had in the US?

Yes, but they won't leave you hanging the way a US committee can. The date of the interviews is often posted in the job ad, and is typically within 8 weeks of the deadline. After the interview, you should find out within 24 hours if you got the job.

Thanks.  That's good and bad - good that they're a bit faster than in the US, but bad since that probably means I'm out of the running on this one.  Bummer.

If you've saved the job ad or the further particulars, there should be something telling you about the notification process and their interview timeline. Boilerplate like "interviews will be conducted on either 21st or 22nd of March" or "candidates who have not been contacted within X weeks of the closing date should assume that they have not been successful" will usually be lurking somewhere to give one an idea of when to abandon hope.


It says that interviews will be conducted 'in March'.   So, hope is not lost, but it seems to be on the way out...

My first lecturing job I contacted a co-author about a paper about three weeks after the interview date for a job in his department and asked casually if he would mind looking over my application to give some guidance on what I needed to improve. His response was that he couldn't do that because they hadn't yet short-listed, and that the HR person looking after the search was so useless that I shouldn't lose hope for at least another month. I got the job. The HR person was moved to another role a few weeks later.


Oooooh.... a little glimmer of hope...... thanks, Scotia!
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monita
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Posts: 908


« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2012, 11:21:18 AM »

Nevermind.  Rejected. 

That was not surprising, but disappointing anyway. 
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scotia
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Posts: 7,183


« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2012, 1:43:18 PM »

Nevermind.  Rejected. 

That was not surprising, but disappointing anyway. 

Ah. Sorry. Better luck next time.
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totoro
Friendly Neighborhood Troll and
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Posts: 4,962


« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2012, 7:47:59 AM »

More evidence of lower security of employment for academics in Australia at least:

http://economics.com.au/?p=8450&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+com%2FJUlM+%28CoreEcon%29
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