Rumors, discussions, and commentary related to jobs and fellowships in International Relations
How often do committees actually go back into their pool after 1st round interviews?
My impression is that this happens a lot, especially among departments that interview candidates relatively early. These departments may make an offer or two to their top candidates, but get turned down when these people take other jobs. It makes sense to go back to the pool when this happens. No one wants to have a failed search because universities do not always let you look again the following year.
And what's this it about some short lists have already been compiled? The deadlines were only just in the last week or two and some still are outstanding. Are these folks who have an "in" or just deadlines (like Georgetown-Security Studies) that were earlier?
Isn't it a violation of the Equal Opportunity Employment Act to run a fake national search? If short-lists are compiled before the deadline, then what is the point of pretending to be an equal opportunity employer?
I'm not anywhere of any "fake" ads with pre-compiled short lists for junior-level searches. Some jobs have inside candidates, of course. But some schools are just fast. Two weeks isn't that long for an organized and motivated committee.
What committees already have short-lists, besides the previously mentioned Georgetown security studies job?
It should be emphasized that none of the short list talk has been confirmed. There was the unconfirmed Georgetown list, and mention by the webmaster of the likelihood of some. So there is a risk of this taking on more weight than is warranted.
Some schools move fast. Twice I've seen schools have a Monday deadline and call to invite me for an interview before Friday of that same week (though I've also seen it take three months to contact candidates).Based on a discussion on the American/Comparative blog, at many schools committee members glance at files as they come in and already have at least a long short list in mind on the day of the deadline. Other places, especially state schools, rules say they can't look at the pile until the closing date.
A long short list is normally about 10 candidates. Then the list is narrowed to 3 for an on -campus interview.
I"ve served on several search committees and have seen first hand in other searches that the committee went back to the pool.
[Moved from Job-market rumors]re: long short listI think 10 to 20 is more like it.I've heard from several people, and found in my own experience, that cutting from 100 candidates to 10 or20 who are top quality with interests that adequately fit the position is easy, unless there are fundamental disagreements on what the dept wants. Cutting to 3 is where fine-grained distinctions, multidimensional tradeoffs, and committee politics gets painful.
So, what's the deal with the Boston University ad... what the heck are they looking for? Any leads?
Has anyone ever questioned the validity of APSA requiring membership to get access to job ads that are required by law to be public? Is it legit for APSA to essentially charge a handling fee, when a "fair" job search is expected to list a job there?
[moved from rumors]that [Texas A&M interview] was fast.
[moved from rumors]You snooze, you lose in this job market. That goes for both candidates and departments.
On the APSA issue, I have always thought that "public" is not the same as "free." A public notice, for example, might be in a newspaper that one has to pay to read. As such, I have no problem paying for transparency.
I would think that the burden is on departments to advertise their positions publicly. I don't think APSA is necessarily obligated to provide that service for free--it's just one of many places where a hiring department can advertise.
Does anyone have any information on the state of things at Kentucky? I know that they were in receivership. How safe is it now for junior faculty in IR?
Depends - are you a he or a she?
[moved from rumors]In answer to the query above, Gruber did not get tenure at Chicago. I believe he's at LSE now.3:52 AM, October 11, 2006Anonymous said...Wasn't his wife also at Chicago? Is she at LSE too?6:16 AM, October 11, 2006Anonymous said...Gruber's wife (Delia Boylan--a very talented political scientist) resigned her position at Chicago and left the academy of her own volition years ago.6:19 AM, October 11, 2006Anonymous said...Sad about Delia. She was, indeed, VERY smart. And nice, if I may add.
When was the last time someone made tenure at Chicago (who didn't come with it)?
Lisa Wedeen maybe? (Maybe some theorists, but I know little of that field).
Didn't Pape get tenure at Chicago after being a junior there?
Bob Pape was never jr at Chicago. He was brought in with tenure. I believe Chicago recently gave tenure to Patchen Markell, a political theorist.As for the last jr IR person to be offered tenure by Chicago, I believe that would be Jim Fearon (who, of course, subsequently left for Stanford).
My understanding was that Pape started out at Dartmouth, stayed there for 3-5 years, and then went back to Chicago STILL as an untenured faculty member.
So looking down the road, then, a junior interview at Chicago could be an opportunity to take 5-years of labor and then have to confront the market again?
Yes, but that would make Chicago like Harvard, Columbia and some of the other Ivies. You get 5-6 years of working with smart people (students and faculy), get wired and published, and then move on.
Seeking advice from all of you experienced job talkers: how long should an average job talk presentation take?
Different departments are going to give you varying amounts of time. When offered an interview, make sure you ask about the length of the job talk.In general, however, I would say 30 minutes is a good target. From there you could cut or extend it depending upon the demands of the department.
Indeed. Find out the expected length and do not exceed it. Try to finish ~5 minutes under.A good mark of a "green" job talk, furthermore, is trying to shoehorn too much of your research and argumentation into the talk. Tell a good story that simplifies beyond the dissertation and/or current research.
I'll reiterate a few of those points for emphasis.1. Find out the parameters of the job talk ahead of time. How much time, whether the norm is to take questions during the talk or only after, etc.2. Don't exceed your time. Just don't. Time your talk ahead of time, and identify stuff that can be skimmed (with a promise to discuss during Q&A as appropriate.3. Tell an interesting story that shows your best side to the people in your subfield, but will interest and demonstrate some relevance to people beyond it.4. Don't exceed your allotted time. (Worth saying again.)5. Test-flight your technology in advance if you can, and bring transparent slides as a backup.
Make an effort to talk to the audience, not to the screen! Don't turn your back on your audience, instead engage them. This is one rare opportunity that you will have a captive audience who is really interested in you and will pay attention. One constructive way to approach the stress involved might therefore be to consider the talk a great time to get good, solid, hard-nosed feedback on your project. As you will find out, such opportunities are rare.
be sure to leave plenty of time for Q&A. for many people, myself included (assoc, top-10 place) the Q&A makes or breaks a candidate
30 to 35 minutes. Shorter is better than longer.
Is having a family (a spouse and children) considered a liability for junior candidates?
No. And in some cases it is a plus. I.e. a single hipster may not want to live in town X, but someone married and with kids would. Of course, for some locations it goes the other way around.
be sure to leave plenty of time for Q&A. for many people, myself included (assoc, top-10 place) the Q&A makes or breaks a candidate*************************I think that's exactly right, and I'd encourage candidates to really practice their Q&A as much as they can. (Get some of your friends to ask you hard and obnoxious questions. Even better, get some people who have never seen your work to come to a practice talk. You've probably heard the questions your friends have before.) The key is to defend your argument without seeming defensive. What you don't want to do is either:(a) Answer every question: "That's a great question. I'll have to think about that." You need to show that you're ready and able to defend your argument in the face of tough questions. I happen to think it's ok to give this answer once or twice to a true stumper of a question. Better to give this answer than to make a fool of yourself trying to answer a question that you simply can't answer, but that hopefully shoudn't happen often.or (b) Become so defensive that things get uncomfortable. You want to show that you can take criticism and respond in an effective, yet respectful, way. Nobody wants a colleague who is uber-defensive about his/her arguments.Unfortunately, I think a fair number of candidates really hurt themselves when they adopt one of these two approaches. It takes skill to tow that line between defending your argument and becoming defensive. It's worth practicing if you can.
The spouse and children are definitely a liability. You should get a divorce and put the rug rats up for adoption.Seriously, what are you going to do? You are who and what you are and if an institution considers your spouse, your sexual orientation, your veganism, your religion, etc. a liability, would you honestly want to work there?
A "single hipster"??????We have those in Political Science?There is something to be said -- my opinion -- for judiciously mentioning whether or not you are with family. If someone interviewing you has an office festooned with photographs of her/his kids, and you have kids, then there's some ice-breaking common ground. But I have observed some awkwardness about the topic, especially at research departments. If you're an AYSO coach, you won't be camped out in the office running data. If your spouse is un-/under-employed, then child care is available. But if your spouse is "more" employed than you -- s/he's a surgeon, you're an academic -- and there are kids involved, then there's an assumption that the academic has heavier child-care responsibilities. In which case s/he won't be in the office, running data.On average, I think liberal arts colleges are less concerned with family-mindedness than research departments.As many have pointed out: be careful in what you say. Rather than volunteer information, it never hurts to ask questions directly, as the lawyers say.
You may have noticed akwardness because, as the laywers say, it's illegal to consider these issues in a hiring decision. If a faculty member is obeying what his/her school's lawyers would want, then the only time family-related issues (or other personal issues) will come up in an interview is if you mention them. And if you mention them, a legally-conscious faculty member might not want to discuss them and, thus, might seem awkward in trying to change the subject. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the consequences of having a family for conducting research (though it could, and I certainly have been in interviews where a faculty member clearly couldn't give a rat's ass about the legality of asking personal questions).
WTF does "AYSO" mean? - Single Hipster
AYSO = American Youth Soccer Organization. Are we far enough off topic yet? ;)
On this topic of inappropriate questions, what about age? I am a late starter and while not all that long in the tooth (late 30s) that may set off some who are looking for younger (more malleable and/or fresher depending on your perspective)junior colleagues. If age comes up, brush it off/fess up/call AARP? (BTW: those extra years were spent in specialty relevant professional work.)--Slightly More Seasoned Single Hipster
There is an age problem. Basically it boils down to the same issue -- how likely are you to be spending nights running data? A colleague who took a Ph.D. after retiring from one career wound up at a community college -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- because he was "old." His work was solid, he was methodologically in-tune with the field, and he had a good committee. But he was also in his late 40s.Relevant life experience might help -- think of some of the security studies jobs this season. If you'd been a weapons inspector or something, I'm sure the policy-oriented departments would relish that.But in general? Younger is better -- look at the awards for "young" scholars. I guess the assumption is that "old" scholars are not also "new" scholars.
I agree in general with the younger is better feeling. Though alot of those young scholar awards do have that "or within 10 years of receiving the PhD" proviso. I am pretty sure most understand that not all candidates came right out of undergrad, and that a few years of seasoning in-between can make for stronger scholarship in some/many cases.
re: age, I've had a pretty opposite experience. I was a fll ten years younger than the average age in my graduate department (read: my social life didn't go well there), and on several interviews have been asked how I convince the undergraduates that I am not one of them ... When I was job searching I was asked my age on every interview I went on (then: 24), and it was a terrible experience. So younger may be better if you mean late 20s/early 30s, but there's a serious case of diminishing returns
re:4:44You were 24 when you were on market??You went to grad school right out of high school or what?
re: 10:13, no need for that - it was quite a while ago now. this forum is to share potentially useful information; that's what i did. no need to pry into details. if its not useful for you, ignore it.
On age: I am a "mature" recent Ph.D. on the market for the first time. "Mature"? I voted for the first time in 1981.I was advised by my diss. chair and committee to delete all references to years from my c.v. except for those entries < 6 years ago (i.e., from when I started grad school). All of them said the same thing -- your file will be dumped because you're too old.Fortunately, I seem to look younger than my age (or what people expect my age to look like), so on talks and at conferences I can "pass" for a "real" candidate.
What's the deal with all of those schools that had 9/15 or 10/1 deadlines (UVA)? Do we assume that action has been taken, but that nobody has leaked anything to someone who tracks this blog? Especially the Liberal Arts schools, Holy Cross, Middlebury and Swarthmore all had earlish deadlines...
Middlebury sent "got your file and please fill out the diversity checklist" form about 2-3 weeks ago.
re:11:29 Yup, those were received... the real question is can we expect movement from those sc's soon or are they going to wait for the R1's to shake itself out...
"R1"s? Please translate and explain for the newbies.
R1 = Top Tier research university, as opposed to SLAC (small/selective liberal arts college)
re: 11:03Despite early deadline, UVA hasn't scheduled IR talks yet. They have several openings this year (I believe they are tryig to fill 5 or more lines). The CP talks are staring first (scheduled this week and next...this is confirmed, received the e-mail of people eand times). I suspect IR will follow soon after.
UVA has scheduled IR talks.
re UVA: which IR talks have been scheduled? The junior or the senior position?
RE: Kentucky above. We now have TWO completely different short-lists and are going to the dean to decide. You be the judge. What a mess.
the UVA candidates are 1 senior, 2 junior.
It doesn't seem like there is a "herd mentality" this year with one or two *stars* getting all of the interviews. Does this seem right or am I missing something?
Re: 2:50, I don't know. It does seem like a few of the same names keep popping up (Horowitz, Kroenig, Chapman). This doesn't necessarily suggest a 'herd mentality' though. Much more likely it's the result -- as was the similar situation last year -- of a large but relatively thin applicant pool. The top programs have scaled back the number of students they're turning out and (so?) there are an unbelievably large number of jobs available. This seems to be incentivizing people to come out a year or two too early. They therefore look less attractive than they would with a little more time to iron out their projects. But plenty of them are nevertheless getting jobs because others' projects are in even worse shape, so you can't blame people for coming out early.
Re: 7:00 Suffice to say if the market were so large, there would be no need for this discussion...
Re: 11:55This blog isn't a function of the scarcity of jobs (though that is a fundamental condition), it's a function of the scarcity of information about those jobs. More jobs, though still too few for the amount of available labor, increase the need for the blog.
How long do you normally get to decide on an offer? Is there a general standard for all universities? Is it acceptable to ask for more time? And if so, how long is too long?
Usually the better the school, the more time you have. Minimally, schools are supposed to be required to give candidates at least 2 weeks.
re: 7:00amThank you for that uplifting and encouraging note for those of us who failed to get interviews for this "incredible number of jobs". Good to know the country expends so many resources on graduate education to produce three or four IR scholars per year worthy of being a professor somewhere.
my experience is that there are always a few "stars" who get 7 or 9 interviews. Obviously, they can only take one job, and departments should know this. They also usually take jobs relatively early (with top, fast moving depts), and that then seems to open the field for everyone else as interview lists become more varied.But, once, my department brought in some "stars" for a search and we didn't like any of them because they couldn't teach and that "matters" here.Also, RE the questions-- They can't ask you about family, age, wife, kids, any of that, and if they do, you are able to sue for discrimination, regardless of the answer or seeming innocence of the question. Search committees are usually told this, but the danger seems to come with other faculty not on the committee who you may meet on an interview.I have found its best not to talk about such things--both as candidate and as interviewer.
So, if asked, a polite brush-off is in order?
RE 7:27Not if your wife & father-in-law are both alums. ;)Source: Said wife.
Why is it best not to discuss family stuff? I disagree. Sane places seem to enjoy knowing a little bit about the *people* they are interviewing, in my experience.
9:11: Meanwhile, in the search committee meeting..."Well, Blarg seems very good and the dissertation is interesting, plus we had a very good interview.""But s/he has two children in elementary school.""Really? S/he doesn't seem that old.""I know. Maybe there was an accident. And s/he mentioned that s/he's a Little League coach and that the little girl-child takes piano lessons twice a week.""What does the spouse do?""Sales. Travels quite a bit, so Blarg laughed that s/he got most of the child care duties.""Ohhhhhhh. What about Candidate Schnorr? Single, isn't s/he?"
I have served on two search committees at a major East Coast Univ. We don't care AT ALL whether the applicant has a spouse and/or family. Why? Because it has been our experience that junior faculty fall into two categories - those that get things done (research/publications/grants) and those that don't. The ones that fail often try to blame it on external factors - "my wife had a baby and I’m tired, yadda yadda." But when you look at the faculty who produce, they have the exact same external factors at work. The best producer in our department is a woman who has multiple books (published) and one in the works AND has delivered three children, all in the span of three years. That puts my record to shame. One of our worst producers, and someone who is going to be cut loose soon, is single, mid 30's “hipster.” That being said, a good friend of mine is on the search committee at one of the smaller universities currently hiring. I know for a fact that he is very interested to hear anything that will convince him that a candidate will stay at that university for the long haul. Having a spouse and children and wanting to settle down in Bumf@ck, USA would be a very good thing to mention at that interview.
5:01 is a hoot. Thanks for making me crack a smile during an otherwise unbearably tense few weeks. I wonder if she's the wife of 7:27, if so, man, you are busted.
Given that a number of these interviews, and, likely, offers are going to some of the same folks, what happens when some programs are inevitably turned down? Do they go back to the short lists, back to the pack, or "maybe next year"? I am not hoping for any trickle down opportunities this year (by the looks of things I am likely too far down to get anything), but would be interested in any tendency towards deferring hiring until the next cycle.
11/11 10:16. Excellent question. This is my first year on the market and even at that it was a very limited search. Is there a "second wave" season after offers are extended and accepted? Or is it the case that the searches that are going to be for the year have been, and the market will go into hibernation until next APSA?
Thanks for all the previous comments on the 'job talk'.I gave one (my first & only) earlier this year, when I just got on the market. It went well, I got offered the position (3 year); but it was a smallish university with a small department (I would be the first IR person) so the job talk wasn't challenging, i.e. no hard questions afterwards. But ...I've been shorted for a t-t position at a major R-1, fairly strong theoretically, and it's hard for me to gauge what kind of questions they'll pepper me with, i.e. focused on the empirical with respect to my diss research (I'm just about complete) or trying to parse or challenge me theoretically? I suppose it's like trying to divine what they'll ask you at your oral defense of your comp ... who knows?Would be interesting to hear from anybody with either similar experiences, fears, etc.BTW, I'm also 40-ish and married (no kids) so the other threads on family/single and age have been of interest. And I'm white male ... hmmm ... do I hear 3 strikes?
There is still lots more market for this year. I know that my own department will likely go back to the pool if we strike out with our first round candidates.re questions to expect at a job talk, just anticipate and prepare for everything you can, and then do as well as possible with the inevitable unanticipated questions.
re: questions at job talks. Always prepare for any questions imaginable...don't think someone won't find the one weakness in your work. They will. Typical questions also tend toward the "how do you know y doesn't cause x?" or some variation thereof and "your results are inconsistent with those of soandso (an obscure or random figure in a different subfield), how would you reconcile that?"It's good to prepare slides to answer any questions that you anticipate (including about data/methods). For instance, slides of robustness tests/alternative results using a slightly different estimation technique may be useful. Also, graphs/pictures of your dependent variable or descriptives that you might not include in the talk but that may be useful to help you answer questions. You can have these at the end of your .ppt after a blank slide.
You should also be prepared for some very basic (and sometimes ridiculous sounding) questions from faculty in other subfields. Keep in mind that most people in the audience will not know your area of research anywhere near as well as you do.
How long does the search process go on? That is, how much into the new year will interviews, etc. extend? When can we conclude that inaction by a department meant that they just didn't find any candidates they liked, were never seriously looking, etc., rather than just indicating a shorter-term delay in their search?
Rejected from "rumors" but placed here:"A general observation here: without revealing a name, I can reliably report that we officially have a "star" on this year's market. One candidate is now holding offers for several high-profile jobs with the possibility of other offers forthcoming. As a consequence, the job market will likely be treading water until that candidate makes a decision. Once that candidate makes a decision, the market will likely open up with other candidates receiving offers."Editorial comment: We think this observation deserves to be posted, but please keep it clean.
I am assuming this clogging affects only those at the "top" of the market (those who have already interviewed or have them scheduled)?
"Actually, it probably cascades on down. #1 is holding offers that will ultimately trickle down to #s 2-10, who are each holding a few offers that will trickle down further, etc"[Comment edited by moderator]
Sure, but those are "offers." This doesn't trickle below those who have or will soon interview, or does it?
It may trickle down further than you think. A lot of mid-level departments try to "beat the market" and make offers to the candidates who become the "stars." For example, a friend of mine had offers from several top 10 departments...and Vermont (or was it NH? You get the idea). Such places may end up going back to the candidate pool. That can continue well into the new year. In truth, March is when you should really abandon all hope of landing a T-T job, though you should start working on contingencies well before then.
Some clarification please--for the crossing off function. When people say "first round interviews" it means that those folks were chosen for interviews, and one or none will get an offer. Assuming no offer is made (or accepted) "first round" makes it seem like more interviews would be scheduled, which isn't my understanding or expectation. Anyone care to confirm or revise my interpretation?
What types of questions (beyond teaching philosophy) do schools with a primary emphasis on teaching ask in a phone interview? (as if that makes sense)
Questions I've had during phone and/or ISA meet-and-greet interviews for SLAC jobs: How do you feel about teaching a full course-load for the first time? Would you be able to teach X [where X is one of their regularly-offered courses]? What is your 'dream course'? What do you hope students in your [name of proposed or previously-taught course] come away with? And my favorite: if we asked you to use quantitative research in your intro to IR, would you be comfortable doing so?
What is considered a good offer in terms of money for a junior assistant professor? Any statistics- what’s the average? the median?
I suggest taking a look at pp. A15-18 of the April 28, 2006 Chronicle of Higher Ed. Although the information for full, assoc, and asst profs is not broken down by academic discipline, it does provide the avgerages at different insitutions, which can be helpful. A word of caution though: salaries for small liberal arts colleges are probably more accurate than those for R1 institutions, because their averages do not get inflated as much by salaries for faculty teaching in large schools of engineering, business, etc.
The Chronicle on-line edition has breakdowns by rank and by school. There may be some gaps (some schools not reporting), but it should give you ample information for comparison.http://chronicle.com/stats/aaup/ You'll need access to the Chronicle, but I am assuming your university does.
The salary will greatly depend on whether you're talking about an R1 place, and if so whether it's a top 20ish place. If these are both true and you have another offer, then you're in a good competitive posision. I would expect a starting salary in the low to mid 70s, two courses off, a couple of ninths, and anywhere between 20 and 50K in research money.
To continue the debate started on the Rumors page, and as a member of an R1 search committee, allow me to dispel three myths suggested as to what explains the relative lack of interview invitations extended and/or job offers extended so far this year: 1. a lack of applications (tons)2. a 'herd mentality' (no) 3. a particular 'taste' (no) Number 1 is just flat-out wrong. What numbers 2 and 3 are getting at however is the fact that, despite a large pool, there just weren't many/any great candidates. The projects are not in good shape. This means now is both a crushingly depressing time to be on a search committee (all that work for so little) and a fantastic time to be on the market (best since the early '80s). So those of you who are out there, great timing. And those of you who aren't yet, hurry up incase/before it changes!
The question here is about how "great candidates" are determined. Herding may not be the most precise metaphor, but I find it very hard to believe that out of that huge pool only a handful merited any sort of consideration. This is not to disparage those who succeeded in getting interviews and/or offers, they are all very likely worthy of this notice. But do you really think by objective indicators the rest were all really of such low quality that they didn't merit a closer look? It's no mystery that informal networks help bring certain candidates more notice (top programs, pre- and post-docs, etc.) and that this isn't undeserved. This goes a long way in determining which candidates are "great" enough to get any consideration. Worthy candidates are certainly left out, and you should just acknowledge this. There are more than ten projects that are well developed, but maybe not the right school, the right phone call... Committees, though, are either too burdened or risk averse to move beyond those candidates that are both of high quality and familiar to them through some other channel.
One search committee member at a top 10 R1 school reported receiving applications numbering in the tens (<50) and that conversations with other R1s indicated similar crop yields. But, yes, there was also the sense that the candidates were also "weak" this year... which can be a bit distressing to those outside the 10 who got so many interviews.
I don't think it's a limited rationality story (too burdened or too risk averse). The question is whether there are more than 10-12 files (or however many) that the Top-25 consider first-round interview-worthy. I am on a Top-25 R1 search committee and can say that, while we only extended three interviews, there were probably another 10 or so that we considered interview worthy. If every search committee reached the same judgment (even independently), on the same 10-12 files, then this would look a lot like herding. We were not surprised but not displeased (in terms of having convergent validation of our own judgment) that our interviewees also all had multiple interviews elsewhere.
Possibly, the applicant pool seems a little stale because, frankly, IR is becoming a little stale. In the past, the use of formal & quantitative methods generated considerable buzz. Then, the discussion about norms took off. At one point, people were really interested in the democratic peace. Now, it seems like very little is cutting-edge and new. We are waiting for some exciting new research program or methodology to hit the field. When the "next big thing" hits, we'll have a crop of students who seem exciting. We've become the late 1980's when no one wanted another hair band. We could use a Nirvana to shake it up a bit; then, we will get sick of copycat bands again.
To 1:00:But schools only interview three or four candidates for a position. So, yes, there may be ten candidates (to choose a random number) out there with very interesting projects, but there also may be three or four who rise above the others.To give one example from this year without naming any names. One of the stars on this year's market has:-A finished multi-method dissertation from a top-ten department. [Multi-method makes this person appealing to multiple audiences.]-Publications out of both the dissertation and separate from the dissertation. [Early signs of productivity]-Three astounding letters of recommendation from very well known senior scholars in the field. Not only that, but the three letter writers could not be more different in terms of their approaches to the field. [Three five-page letters from leading senior scholars from different parts of the field all saying that this person is essentially the best grad student they've ever had go a long way.]When I saw this person's file for the first time, I said, "Every department that sees this file is going to want to interview this person." Sure enough.
OK, so the departments flock toward Ms./Mr. Superlative, but let's not be fooled into thinking there is a real lack of talent out there. That's an absurd standard to set for entry, or even for consideration. Competing for that "star" is all well and good, but it's a pretty poor strategy for gauging the overall quality of the pool. It would be like only dating supermodels (with PhDs) in order to find a spouse. I can't help but think that competition for an uber-candidate is based more on inter-departmental competitiveness (or insecurity) rather than on finding a not-nearly-as-excellent, but still pretty damn good candidate.
Job candidates who are not getting interviews at their dream department right now should not be overly discouraged by the fact that these places tend to settle on the same set of ABDs. Take heart from two facts. First, while 10 or 15 people are getting most of the action right now, many of the places that do not manage to hire one of them will still be looking when the new semester starts and search committees can meet again. Not everyone can afford the luxury of waiting until next year in the hope that the pool gets stronger. Many people beyond those 10-15 hot prospects will get offers in the first few months of 2007.Second, people who do good work consistently will be rewarded for it in the long run. If you end up with a job that is not your ideal out of graduate school, but you manage to publish quality work consistently, people will notice. Focus on your research and you may end up with the job you want a little further down the line. A career is a long time. This is a distance race, not a sprint. It worked for me, and I'm quite happy with the outcome ten years after my Ph.D., even though I wasn't thrilled one year after.
(1) Departments *consider* lots of people, but they can only *interview* a select few. It's not collusion or a herd mentality that leads certain candidates to get lots of interviews; it's the fact that there are a few superlative candidates out there. Let's say that there are three superlative candidates on the market, and most departments interview three or four people. Well, you do the math. (2) Departments go after the most impressive candidates who apply for their job. They do this not out of "insecurity," but rather because--gasp--they want to get the best candidate to take their job. Perhaps departments would be smarter to go after some of the other very good candidates they consider rather than just the "superstars," but everybody wants to try and get the best (or at least the best files). This is especially true if they have some confidence that there will be some good candidates remaining to go after if they don't land one of the superstars.(3) People will get jobs, so don't begrudge departments for interviewing the candidates that most impress them. It's what you'll want to do when you're junior faculty.
Re: 2:57 I am not all that confident that if there were a Kurt Cobain out there, that he/she would be discovered considering the the collusion (of standards) inherent in the process. An appreciation of innovation, at least at the graduate level, doesn't seem to be built into the reward structure.P.S. for the 7:32s: Don't assume all of the posts that are skeptical of the process have been made by frustrated searchers or underemployed juniors.
8:54 says, "An appreciation of innovation, at least at the graduate level, doesn't seem to be built into the reward structure."Could he/she expound on what is meant by that? The process rewards interesting puzzles that get a committee's attention. The process also rewards publications that presumably indicate that a candidate's work is interesting enough to warrant publication (we can debate the peer review process, but that's a somewhat separate--though clearly related--question).How exactly is the job market supposed to "appreciate innovation" other than by examining the puzzle and seeing if the work has been published?
The post referred to by 8:54 decried what he/she saw as the stagnancy in the field--and attributed some of the lack of excitement about the pool of candidates to that condition (all hair bands and no Nirvana). My point was that if you are looking for that sort of innovation from up-and-comers, good luck. The type of innovation you are referring to is about all that's allowed, on the margins. Some of this is the culture: I can't tell you how many times I have heard graduate students discouraged from doing anything more than demonstrating basic competence in the frameworks/methods they have been drilled in. (Innovation, is encouraged but very tightly bound.) Some of it, I would guess is process, just look at some of the more extraordinary aspects of the idealized (in this case real and deserving) candidate mentioned earlier: mixed methods that appealed to a broad audience, and letters from folks with a variety of approaches. Innovators have to upset someone, no?, and while it may occur at a later time in one's carreer, just expect it when its not rewarded, and often actively discouraged.
that is.... just don't expect it when its not rewarded, and often actively discouraged.
Fair enough, but I think the difficulty is with what is considered "innovative." Some people consider using the latest and greatest statistical techniques to be innovative. Other people think that applying the most post-modern of social theory to be innovative. Yet other people think that doing field research in some understudied area of the world is innovative. And for all the people who label any of the above as innovative, there's another crowd that will label it as rubbish.So, it's difficult to reward innovation when there's no common standard for what is innovative. Or, rather, when there's no common standard for what is good innovation. Not all innovations are worthwhile innovations.This is why publications are so heavily valued in the job market. *In theory*, peer-reviewed publications give some validation to a candidate's work and suggest that what they are doing is worthwhile and of interest to the field. In the absence of a common standard for judging innovations or their worthiness, peer-reviewed publications are the closest thing we've got.
7:07 hit the nail on the head. Ultimately, you will have to convince other political scientists that your work (innovative or not) is good. This is true for publication, getting a job, getting cited, and just about everything else we do. If you don't think that the judgment of other political scientists is a fair standard, then you have chosen the wrong line of work.
Well, I don't think there will be any resolution to this question, but I will end my part. The question is whether the collective judgment of the field is a fertile basis for promoting innovation--a definition of which will depend on your assessment of health of the field as it stands. If you think that the field is healthy in terms of progress and the generation of useful research, then a more modest definition of innovation will be accepted. If you don't, innovation that is more disruptive to commonly accepted emphases and modes of research will be valued.The processes embedded in the field, peer review, hiring, etc. are not well matched toward the latter. It isn't too controversial to say that peer review can be hostile to innovative research. If that's the case--where those assessing the work are chosen from a subset of a subfield--then this effect will likely be even more pronounced with hiring committees.So, you'll need to look elsewhere for your Kurt Cobains. More Cowbell!
If I can sincerely ask one more question of the previous poster (9:52):What then would be your standard for hiring decisions? What is the metric for innovation?If your hope is to introduce a more revolutionary political science, then what replaces the conventions of peer-reviewed publications, letters of recommendation, departmental reputations, etc?There has to be some standard, doesn't there?
I think the phrase "metric for innovation" says it all. Good discussion, points well made, moving on. Last word's yours if you like, unless someone else takes up the cause.
Ok. I'll let it go, but I am disappointed you didn't take the bait (but not in a snide way). I'm on a search committee this year, and I'm still unclear on how, in practice, I would execute your vision. If I'm to reward worthwhile innovation, I (and my colleagues) have to be able to recognize it first, right? And if we don't have standards, then the danger is that innovation becomes, frankly and simply, whatever kind of work I, you, or anybody else likes. Genuinely curious. . .
I read the Hair Band/Nirvana comment a bit differently. It's not that a graduate student has to be 'innovative' to get noticed. This is more of a comment about IR in general than a reflection on the crop of grad students. We simply do not have very many "hot" research agendas at the moment. Example: the democratic peace, once upon a time, was a really novel and interesting way to think about conflict when the discipline was dominated by realist (domestic politics doesn't matter) analysis. The pioneers of this research program were not grad students, but there was a batch of students who caught on and whose work was considered "cutting edge." Now, a dissertation on the democratic peace, unless REALLY well done, is probably not as exciting. The bargaining and war literature also followed this pattern.So, this is a call for the discipline as a whole to advance new research programs that capture people's attention, and grad students will ride the wave and do very well on the market. Yes, we are not likely to get a Kurt Cobain graduate student. But we need a new breakthrough to generate some buzz.
I don't buy this argument that the field is any less active or vibrant than it has been in the past. (Note how I phrased that. I'm not saying the field is active or vibrant now. Just that it's not any less so than in the past.)It's somewhat ironic that 12:49 should use the democratic peace as an example. Interest in the democratic peace reached its apex when much of the field seemed disenchanted with the structure of debates in the field. As the post mentions, the democratic peace got caught up in the "war of the isms" that has been so loudly decried in this field over the past two decades or so. Ironic that some now look back on those halcyon days of determining politically-relevant dyads.I suspect that if you took a time machine back to a pre-blog mid-1990's APSA, you'd find lots of IR scholars lamenting how uninteresting the field had become.
I want to amplify some of the sentiments expressed here. I was on the search committee at an R! university. We had a large number of applicants, but could quickly narrow down the list to about ten. Part of the reason had to do with departmental needs and fit, but part of the reason had to do with the number of very good young scholars who struck us a clearly below the line set by the top crowd of candidates. This shouldn't be taken as an insult. A lot of people seemed to be doing very similar work -- focusing on similar mechanisms, models, issue areas -- without a lot to distinguish the quality of their work from that of their peers. We didn't see a lot of work that jumped out at us as being innovative or broad. I'm sure that many of the scholars who applied are broad, big thinking people, but they're files didn't communicate that.I never considered cover letters that important before, but I've come to see how much of a difference it makes when it comes to how candidates package themselves, why we should care about their work, and what else we're getting beyond the dissertation, a spinoff article, or even an un-related publication?Indeed, we do seem to be in a normal science mode right now. There's no hot debate. Some people really think this is a good thing, but it does make it hard to distinguish candidates who have good letters, solid work, etc.I don't personally think young scholars need to be revolutionary in their innovation. But they should recognize that two issues here can make them stand out and indicate promise of future impact on the intellectual community: one is extremely solid but not innovative work with attention to broad implications; another is a degree of novelty that makes a committee say "oh, that's really interesting." I don't know how I would quantify the latter. I guess its like porn: you know it when you see it and your enjoyment well vary.
Was the top crowd singled out because of the innovativeness of their work, or their tangibles (top school, postdoc, etc.)? Quickly narrowing it down, as you indicate, suggests some firm indicators, that weed "lesser" candidates out. It's common practice not to hire one's own products (in order to avoid stagnation), but just as common to hire those once removed.
7:29: Well, I should say that "fit" issues -- avoiding overly redundant research areas -- weeded out a number of candidates who might have otherwise been above the "top line."Also, you should read "quickly" as "at the committee meeting." I read every file very closely and take extensive notes. Schools and post-docs, in my view, are merely a proxy, not a decision factor in of themselves. Recommendations matter a great deal. As do writing samples and extant publications available in the file or outside of the file. But yeah, I think the innovativeness and *ambition* of the work ultimately made the difference.
Great debate & commentary on this thread. I suspect/infer/deduce much of it from already existing faculty, etc.As a finishing PhD from a major department, I chose a very innovative area/topic in IR (IPE), which has been great on the one hand, but also laborious and time-consuming (the downside). It has, in my perception, certainly "opened the door" and given me a few interviews at good places. Once I get a job, one thing I want to do is do a better job of mentoring IR grad students, giving them better info on this mysterious process, at least better than what I received.
How does the search for visiting positions work? Is it totally random, or at least department specific, or is there a pattern--with departments that didn't fill positions looking for stopgaps.
Here's a question many people like 4:43 confront: Once you arrive at a not-so-great grad program, what advice do you give your Ph.D. students? They are in a lousy program with no chance of the R1 job many want, but don't know it. If you tell them, your colleagues will kill you. What do you do? My guess is that you say nothing and hope for a better job in the future where you can make a difference. It's what I did. Not that I feel that great about it...
I assume that most phd students do enough research to know what market value a degree from their university carries. You shouldn't feel like it's your responsiblity to clue them in - that's the student's job.
I confront the exact issue that 9:18 describes. While 6:13 is right that researching grad programs is the student's responsibility, it is still striking how many good students do not recognize the importance the market places on where one gets their Ph.D. from. The tack that I have taken is to stress to the students that I work with that it is vital that they publish if they want a 3-3 or 2-2 kind of job and to involve them in the research process at an early stage in their careers. Unless they do that, they have no prospect of competing with students coming from more highly rated graduate programs.
I agree with 6:58 that it is vital for grad students in marginal programs to publish. This isn't easy for them when they are surrounded by faculty who don't. I also think that 6:13 is letting the faculty at these places off too easily. They know the real story, but form advising relationships with these graduate students that do not include full disclosure about the realities the students face. It may ultimately be the student's job to research the program in which they enroll, but the faculty in these programs routinely provide relatively vulnerable people with plenty of self-serving information. The faculty role is a shameful one, even if the ultimate responsibility is the student's.
The big problem is not knowing the caliber of the program before you enter (or having a distorted view). Reputations come and go these days, often much quicker than in the "old days" it seems (I'm not really qualified to assess it, though). As a Canadian who went south to a major US IR program, I had only a vague sense of where was best, and in fact chose my 2nd choice, only because they gave me lots of money. Turned out to be incredibly fortuitous one, because the PS dept jumped from relative obscurity (in the early, mid-90s) to one of the best a decade later, hiring like crazy. All that to say ... who really knows? But, to answer the question, I think I (as a faculty) have an obligation to help steer my students to the best places. Most of them are relatively clueless (as I was).
Agreed with 8:11 PM. A big part of the problem is it's quite hard to find out just what the job prospects are for PhDs from any department, especially when every department has an incentive to embellish its placement record. In my case (and in many others I bet), I didn't really begin to see the market for what it was until I was several years into the program. In some small way, these blogs might actually help by at least providing one source of placement records that are specific to our discipline (so hopefully somebody's archiving these job tables).
My impression is that most people know very little about how the profession works when they apply to grad school. They should research the programs to which they apply, but most undergrads don't even know what questions to ask. Unless they have a knowledgeable adviser as an undergrad, they may not find out until it is too late.
There are, at best, 20 R1 institutions capable of producing grad students who can get jobs at an R1. If you are teaching at one of the remaining -- what, 50? -- (and I have been doing so for a number of years) it is irresponsible to pretend otherwise. An Nth tier R1 can be a great place to work -- you can do cutting-edge research (hire your best undergraduates as RAs), get grants, have a 2-2 teaching load, get a perfectly livable salary, and present at the APSA and ISA. The one thing you won't be able to do is place your students anywhere except teaching colleges (and oftentimes second-rate ones at that).If you are currently in a graduate program at such an institution and expect to get an R1 job, get as much as you can from the classes of the research-active faculty, write a really nice M.A. thesis, and then get the heck out of there and into one of those top-20 programs. You'll probably have to pretty much start over again on your classwork, but you will hugely increase your probability of getting a job. Waste two years, or waste the rest of your life? -- your call.If you've done well at the M.A. level and have a couple research-active faculty writing letters for you, you'll probably in fact get into a better Ph.D. program than you would have coming right out of your undergraduate school since you've proven you can make the transition to graduate work (that's certainly been the experience with students we've advised to go this route) [This advice, I realize, probably comes too late for most people reading this blog...]
11:52 offers good advice. When I was a faculty member at one of those "Nth tier R1's" I used to advise our best grad students to move to other places for their Ph.D., something many of them did. This made me very unpopular with many of my colleagues, however. (I gave the advice in confidence, but nothing stays secret in academia.) I would not recommend this course of action for untenured people.
This blog is great. Are there any other blogs that publish similar IR job market information?
5:28: Not really, the American and Comparative blog has an IR thread that is mostly inactive. And it is unmoderated, which makes it nearly worthless for anything other than questioning whether academia is a place where you would want to work.
Guesstimating, about how many people do you think are on the market this year? We hear a lot about Ph.D. overproduction. By my count there are about 100-odd APSA-listed searches for some variety of IR or "IR/Comparative" (which I gather usually means Comparative). How many people are chasing those jobs, ignoring the issue of those "really" qualified for the top R-1s, etc.
When is it appropriate for a tenure-track assistant prof to go on the market again? Is it bad form to go on the market after a year? Two years? What is the best strategy for changing jobs?
The metric shouldn't be jobs posted, but some function that takes into account jobs posted and jobs filled. APSA claims that the market is strong because there are alot of ads. But one aspect of the market and its foibles has to do with how schools go about filling positions. A market isn't strong if the "trade" is restrained for some set of reasons.
10:32: The "right" time to go on the market is when your value is highest. For most people, that's maybe 3-5 years out, when they should have a good publication record as tenure nears. Going out earlier may be tough if it doesn't look like you've done anything since the PhD (and let's face it, we're not our most productive in the first 1-2 years of a T-T job). But there are other dimensions to life than just the professional. If you can't stand where you're currently living, or if you just want to be able to sleep with your spouse every night, then it's surely worth it to take a step down professionally to improve your personal life.
If I had an interview and did not hear anything after a month- is it okay to contact the department and ask were things stand?
This post at Crooked Timber (2004) addresses some of the previous discussions concerning the job market--in particular the mobility between tiers and the likelihhood of the market rewarding innovation.http://crookedtimber.org/2004/12/05/academic-job-markets-and-status-hierarchies/This passage in particular gives a little more weight to the Kurt Cobain/hair band argument above:"In other words, it may be that the people in the structural position to get the best ideas are less likely to be hired. ... Burt’s argument suggests that in the long run, truly innovative actors should do better than the ordinary runs-of-the-mill, whereas Burris’s suggests that the stable center ought to prevail. I don’t know of anything that considers the structural stability of departmental rankings (and their dependence on exchanging students) alongside the idea that new ideas ought to be generated by unconventionally networked individuals. It might turn out to be quite a complex dynamic."
11:37: great post!Many of us agree that the job market suffers from major flaws. particularly for freshly-minted PhDs and ABDs. Department prestige rather than individual talent gets rewarded; there is often a 'herd' mentality in pursuit of 1 or 2 candidates; personal/advisor networks matter more than they should. However, we are also stuck in somewhat of a multi-actor Prisoner's Dilemma. No one (or department) as an incentive to unilaterally change strategies, and we are left worse off. The assistant prof job market is also a game with low information, so there is a heavy reliance on outside cues.That said, I am much more optimistic about the job market for high assistants and associates. Here the cream does often rise to the top. There are plenty of examples of folks with "poor" initial placements who moved, if that is what they wanted to do. And just because someone doesn't "move up the rankings" (perhaps because of personal reasons), doesn't mean that their work doesn't get noticed and appreciated.
The cream generally will rise to the top when the underplaced people end up at low-tier R1s (where they still have 2-2 loads and some support). Those people can publish their way into top-20 jobs quite easily.It's more problematic for people who don't land an R1 job to begin with. There are surely people out there who had very promising research ahead of them, only to get stuck somewhere with a 3-3 (or worse) load that swamped any future productivity.
I'm fairly new to the publishing game. For tenure and promotion purposes, do articles in top IR journals such as IO and ISQ count as much as top general journals such as AJPS, APSR, and JOP? AJPS and APSR are clearly "golden", but is JOP not as glamorous for IR? Do great IR-specific journals count for less? What about journals for sub-sub-fields such as J Peace Research and J Conflict Resolution? Maybe it's all subjective?
"Maybe it's all subjective?"I'd say that it is more driven by what kind of IR work you do. Honestly, though, I think many IR scholars -- even if they don't like this state of affairs -- would agree that APSR/IO are the "premiere" outlets, but ranking the rest is asking for a flame war *unless* you specify the relevant intellectual community. Some security types look to IS. Some look to JCR. Many IR scholars I know don't even read AJPS/JOP, others consider both journals very important.But remember that tenure and hiring decisions aren't made solely by IR scholars....
7:19's allusion to the non-IR people who participate in tenure and hiring decisions is important. Whatever your particular community of IR people think of AJPS and JoP, articles in these outlets are bound to catch the eye of Americanists. They tend to think of these as "general interest" outlets that are therefore more prestigious even than very highly regarded field journals like IO. I don't share this view, but I am not an Americanist and I have found this opinion are hard to change.
So does this present a trade-off? If you publish in IO, ISQ, JCR (etc) you will get noticed and perhaps cited by your target audience. However, if you publish in JOP or AJPS, you get a more prestigious publication that may not get read as much by IR folks. What should be the priority: publishing in a "better" journal, or publishing somewhere that will get noticed by IR scholars?
There is a trade-off, but it should not be overstated. Research that makes an important contribution will eventually be read by your target audience if it appears in a top journal, even if they don't always read that particular journal. It will take longer, however. If you must publish in the top three journals for the sake of tenure and promotion, send them work that might find an additional audience outside your little corner of the discipline. I've ended up in contact with researchers outside my field who have parallel interests through things I've published in places like JoP. I would not have met these people if I'd published the same piece in a strictly IR journal.
Publishing in JoP or AJPS is more strategic if you are a pre-tenure scholar in the US because Americanists in the Pol. Sci. departments are very parochial...they would like to think themselves as doing "real" political science but seriously who gives a crap about Congress or Supreme Court outside the US?It is N=1 thus most of AJPS or JoP is useless in the large scheme of things...but still they are the majority in most of the departments..unless you are lucky enough to be in an IR department.
Should an advanced assistant professor who is due to deliver a baby in late October even bother going on the market, even if it would otherwise be her peak period of marketability (in terms of publications, etc.)?Let's hope this doesn't get ugly. But it is a genuine question.
Traveling to interviews shortly before or after the baby is born poses some practical difficulties that might make interviewing difficult. (Even preparing a job talk with an infant around could be tough.) If she can overcome these problems, however, the pregnancy does not mean people won't hire her. Most academics have children, so it is not as if pregnancy is entirely alien to the people she will meet on her interview. There are some who believe that assistant professors should be myopically focused on publication, setting aside family and all other aspects of their life. These people are a minority, though. Most people think it is possible to balance work and family, and are actually trying to do it themselves. Moreover, if this person is an "advanced assistant professor," she presumably already has some publications and is getting close to tenure anyway.
This is a bit off-topic, but does anybody know what's going on with World Politics? The last issue I've seen in the library is April '06, and the last issue referenced on their website is January '06.
There is discussion of WP on the American and Comparative Blog (in the Comparative rumors string). I am not sure I buy the explanation--that there weren't enough quality submissions--but it seems plausible enough.
I don't buy the not enough submissions explanation one bit. I think the problem is that World Politics has always been a journal run out of Princeton. If nobody at Princeton wants to put in the time to be editor of the journal, then the journal doesn't happen. And I suspect (but--to be clear--don't know for certain) that has been the problem.It's a real shame. When I got in this business, World Politics was considered one of the premiere journals not just in IR, but in all of political science. Now, it's more-or-less an afterthought.
Now wait, we shouldn't be writing eulogies for WP just yet. It's hard to say if this is a temporary blip or a long-term trend. WP is likely to bounce back soon. The last several volumes have been pretty good, even if last year was spotty.
I agree re: 8:04. Just look at Security Studies, it had similar drift issues (if that is what is up with WP) and is back on track. But WP has to decide whether it's a CP or IR journal. Preferably it could combine the best of both.
Perhaps, but it's not going to be easy:(1) They're basically a full-year behind. That's not a problem easily solved. Actually, I'll immediately retract that. I just checked their website, and it appears that they've solved this problem by essentially skipping a year. Their last issue was spring 2006. Their new issue is spring 2007. Clever.(2) Even if reduced submissions are not the cause of the journals decline, they surely are a consequence. Lots of people I know have stopped even thinking about submitting to WP because of its recent problems. Jr faculty can't afford to wait forever for a journal to come out. Don't get me wrong. I desperately hope that WP can make a come back. Even more than that, I hope that WP reasserts its presence in IR. By the late 1990's, WP had become largely a comparative journal with relatively little IR. We need another major journal in IR that welcomes work from across the field.
How difficult is it to publish a book with a university press? I have a book idea (that is not a reworked dissertation) in mind that would I think be appropriate for such an outlet. But I have not published a book before, and don't have mentors that can make editors interested in my work. Would I be better served working on articles instead, or is there a realistic chance that in this era of publishing cutbacks a univ press would seriously entertain a book proposal from a someone who is not a poli sci rock star?
In my experience, academic book publishers are happy to listen to just about any proposal. But they're not going to agree to publish anything until you have a manuscript for them to review. This is especially true if you haven't previously published a book. The good news, though, is that if you give them a manuscript that gets positive external reviews and that they think will actually sell a few copies, then they're likely to publish it regardless of your non-rock star status. Established "rock stars" can and do get advance contracts, but not first time authors.
The big issue for me is that WP is not a truly peer-reviewed journal, instead relying on Princeton faculty very heavily both for management/initial screening and reviews. Unless you think that they represent the entire field and know all subjects in IR, this is an unsupportable practice, and to me puts the journal in a tier well below journals with a field-wide reviewer base.
A question to those of you with more experience: What are the ups and downs of non-tenure track positions (which are described as assistant professor, not as visitor) and is one likely to hold to these positions for a significant time or are they usually only for a year or two?
11:57. I'm not familiar with non-t-t positions with the title "Assistant Professor." "Visiting Assistant Professor" seems to be the standard title for a sabbatical replacement, usually one year but possibly two or three in cases where faculty are on extended leave. (Some places seem to offer these positions under alternative titles (eg. "Lecturer"), and I've never understood exactly what regulates this, although I suspect it has something to do with salary levels and benefits.) These can be good jobs, especially if they're in good departments that (in no order): (a) give you the same teaching load as regular faculty; (b) allow you to teach the courses that are relevant to your area of expertise; and/or (c) have people in your field who may have contacts on hiring committees elsewhere. Spending a year or two in these positions seems to be common now (I'm in my second, although certainly not by choice). The advice I've consistently received is that one's marketability may be compromised after three or more years in these positions.
Most US institutions seem to use "lecturer" to denote somebody who is still ABD. So, for example, I know of several cases where people were hired for assistant prof positions when they were ABD and didn't quite finish their dissertations before their appointment as an "assistant professor" began. In those cases, they were referred to as a "lecturer" (with a lower salary) until they had filed their dissertation.Visiting positions can be good as long as the institution you're visiting gives you the time to publish. The best way to get from a visiting position to a regular position is to publish, but it can be hard to publish if you're being asked to teach a very heavy load as a visitor.
Do ads for visiting positions just start to trickle out at this point?
I've seen ads for one-year positions as early as January and as late as June. I would say most appear in February and March.I would add to the previous two posts: one of the often-cited benefits of one-year jobs is that they might turn into tenure-line positions. Based on what I've seen, I would take any such suggestions (even if they're from the hiring department itself) with a grain of salt. I say this based on wrenching stories about unsuccessful 'inside candidates.' There are exceptions, of course, but I'm just saying don't take a one-year job for this reason.
What are some of the primary factors an ABD should consider when deciding whether to go on the market (perhaps a little early) or wait until the following year?
To March 23 on "non tenure-track assistant professor".Agreed that it's a very wierd designation. Given the date, I assume you were asking in ref to the Oregon State ad with exactly that description of the opening.I don't know what OSU means, but they have in the past used "visiting asst prof" to refer to time-limited positions so I would assume this is different. I would interpret it as meaning: 1) you won't ever get tenure, but 2) you might be able to keep it for some years, but again 3) they can eliminate the slot more easily than t-t, though not as at-will as firing an "adjunct". Could be wrong.I do know that Oregon State is under HUGE budgetary pressures. OSU had to cancel their search for a visiting IR prof in the fall. Now they suddently list this weird non-tt asst prof. If I got interviewed I'd ask some very hard questions about what's up and how certain for how long the job is funded.
To April 9,The most important consideration is how much time it takes away from your dissertation versus the liklihood of landing a position. If you are from a top 10-15 department you may have a chance, if you have chapters done or an article. Anything less and the liklihood of landing a position is very small and not likely to be worth the massive time investment necessary to go on the market. I never believed my friends when they told me it stopped them dead in their tracks for two months, but even doing decent applications to 1 years has taken weeks out of grad lives.The other factor to consider is your expiration date. After a 2 or 3 times on the job market you start to become somehat damaged goods (I am intereste dif others agree with this). Why start the clock ticking IF your odds are very low. Sometimes it takes a couple of years even with PhD in hand, publication and post-doc. Look around at how second and third tier schools are hiring people out of top programs with publications and be brutally honest ewith yourself about your attractiveness to a hiring committee. Unfortunately it used to be the promise of scholarly potential that got you hired. Now schools seem to demand significant scholarly acheivement as a condition of employment. The market has changed in the past 10 years.
Regarding May 02 comments on OSU. A senior prof retired. Dean has not doled out a tenure track line back to the department yet. Previous search was kind of odd, it was not a full years position, and it was cobbled together out of short term needs.The job advertised now should be fairly long term if the selectee fits in, but may at some point be the inside position if the department gets the tenure line back.
Question to the community, and would very much like feedback:I'm starting graduate school in the Fall. I've already published a piece in a very good journal (high impact factor according to SSCI), and currently have another piece under review and a journal with a similarly high ranking. I am not going to a top-10 dept. Will publishing this early, in good journals (assuming my second piece gets published) help me on the job market, or is it irrelevant?
When is the best time for an ABD to go on the market? Some people have said its best to wait, esp. if you have a post-doc on the way. Others have said give it a shot with a prospectus. The latter sounds awfully risky to me, but when should someone begin to put themselves out on the market?
Re: 2:53 PM, July 18, 2007 The publications will get you noticed, so they count for something. However, your dissertation will be far more important. The past is past, your future potential is much more important in hiring decisions. But, if you have pubs this early, I suspect that you are a type-A personality anyway, and so shouldn't have much problem getting the dissertation together. Only type-A's succeed in this biz.
I think early publications are good because you have a greater chance of having more citations by the time you get on the job market.But if you have such good publications this early why not apply for a top-ten department?
Talk to the admissions committee
What is the procedure for contacting presses at APSA with a book proposal? Is it acceptable to distribute proposals at APSA, or do people send them to publishers ahead of time? Do you just walk up to the booth and give them your proposal? Any advice would be appreciated.
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