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So....can I have a shiny new job?
May 7, 2012 6:58 PM   Subscribe

How do I ask for a promotion?

I'm a university student who worked for a professor at my university as a research assistant in my field for 3 years. I'm returning to my university after a year away studying abroad in Norway, and will be entering my last year of study, doing part time school and am hoping to work something closer to full time since I only have to complete 2 classes before I graduate.

I would be happy to go back to working as a research assistant in a student type role with the same professor (who has indicated he likely has work for me), but I recently found out from friends in the same research group that there has been a really high turnover in the researchers in the research group, and a large number of my prof's graduate students are finished this year, which means the group is likely going to be looking for new research staff. I haven't confirmed this with him yet, and have a meeting with him tomorrow.

Given this turnover and need for new researchers and the fact that I am two classes away from finishing my degree, how do I ask my supervisor if I can step up from a research assistant to more of a researcher type role? I would like to ideally transition into something more career orientated with travel (which the researchers in this group currently do a lot of), which would be an awesome opportunity for what I want to do later in my career. Essentially, I am looking at asking for a promotion from my past role to a more prominent role in the research group. However, I'm anxious about asking and am not sure how to approach this given that my supervisor hasn't stated this all himself. I'm also really bad at being assertive!! Any suggestions would be welcome!
posted by snowysoul to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Given this turnover and need for new researchers and the fact that I am two classes away from finishing my degree, how do I ask my supervisor if I can step up from a research assistant to more of a researcher type role? I would like to ideally transition into something more career orientated with travel (which the researchers in this group currently do a lot of), which would be an awesome opportunity for what I want to do later in my career. Essentially, I am looking at asking for a promotion from my past role to a more prominent role in the research group.

Turn this into a declarative statement to say to your professor.

Since you are returning from Norway (still there?), I would call or send an email saying something like this:

Hello, Professor X. Given the need for new researchers and my experience in the position, I would like to return/transition into something more career orientated with travel. This is something I look forward to continuing with through my life and I think this is an opportunity for you to fill a need while I move forward in my career. Plus we work well together. Could we meet to discuss this? Thank you.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:09 PM on May 7, 2012


Read stuff by Ramit Sethi on the iwillteachyoutoberich.com blog. Here are a few links on negotiation for you: link1, link2, and link3. Good luck!
posted by lotusmish at 7:37 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given that this is academia, you probalby need to find out exaclty what those more advanced roles are and whether the university has policies about who can fill them. At my university, for example, there are exactly kinds of researchers paid off people's grant money (i.e. that are not tenure-track or fixed term lines of funding from the university:
a) research assistants
b) graduate students
c) postdocs
d) research associates

For (b) you need to be enrolled in a graduate program. For (c and d) you need to have a graduate degree (d is basically for people who have already done postdocs too and are more senior). So your only option is (a). But within (a) there are different paygrades and levels of appointment, so you would be able to ask for a promotion within the role of research assistant (but again, there are policies and procedures for how this is done).

YMMV, obviously, but checking out this sort of info should be your first step.
posted by lollusc at 8:06 PM on May 7, 2012


[Exactly FOUR kinds]
posted by lollusc at 8:07 PM on May 7, 2012


You're a little vague about your field, but if the researcher positions are funded by grants it may, to an extent, tie your supervisor's hands.
posted by pullayup at 8:07 PM on May 7, 2012


Or, see lollusc's more comprehensive answer!
posted by pullayup at 8:08 PM on May 7, 2012


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