Academics, what is your institution's policy about tenure and promotion letters? Specifically, once the decision to award or deny tenure is made, does a candidate standardly get a letter detailing the committee's reasons? What is the letter like and who reviews it? Looking also for pointers to faculty handbooks where the letter process is described, and links to policies/recommendations from professional associations like AAUP or MLA on this. [more inside]
I am in my late 20s, and I have increasingly found myself preoccupied with regret about how I have squandered my 20s. [more inside]
What are some effective academic skills, techniques, and tools for effective learning and succeeding academically? — Looking for uncommon, highly effective techniques that aren't the oft-repeated ones ("don't procrastinate!") but more like "use spaced repetition software to review the major concepts all throughout the semester". — I'll share some of my own. [more inside]
My apologies for this very convoluted question...tl;dr: I guess I'm asking how people deal with taking notes from books, not just on the book's content and structure etc, but mapping bodies of literatures mentioned in those books. I would love to hear if you have a system that works for you. More after the jump. [more inside]
I'm graduating this spring with an undergrad degree in computer science, and I'm lucky enough to have two great postgrad opportunities on the table. But how to choose between a safe and enjoyable industry job vs. attempting the grad school grind to (maybe hopefully) do what I love? [more inside]
I'm finishing a Ph.D. in linguistics and am considering looking for a job in Europe, either in the academy or in a related sector such as education, language instruction, academic publishing, etc. What other fields should I be thinking about? And where are such jobs advertised? [more inside]
I'm currently enrolled in a History Ph.D. program and will be eligible to leave with an MA in a couple of months. I've applied to finish my doctorate elsewhere, but, given some recent developments in my department, have decided that I would really rather leave after my MA regardless of whether I get in elsewhere this cycle. Help me brainstorm options. [more inside]
I am considering rescinding my application for employment at a SLAC - I am fairly certain they have invited candidates to interview since my initial follow-ups, but have been wholly unresponsive to my questions. The goal of this letter is to change their behavior so that they are not rude during future job searches. I think I would have liked this job, but do not want employment there if the search process is indicative of department dynamics. Letter enclosed. If you think I ought to send it, any suggestions for revision are welcome. [more inside]
Social science research: How does researching a subject that affects you very personally impact your professional reputation and long-term employment prospects? [more inside]
I am starting a two day academic job interview tomorrow. What questions should I ask? Bonus question: Do I want this job? [more inside]
I'm nearly 40 years old and by some measures, successful. I graduated from a top university and have been employed by major companies for nearly 20 years of my professional life. I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with my chosen career though, and I was hoping some of the wise minds here could give me some advice. Details follow. [more inside]
I am a doctoral candidate and have become increasingly convinced that I no longer want an academic job, and possibly not a PhD either. When/how do I tell my supervisor? (Particulars inside, and apologies in advance about the length.) [more inside]
I am interested in articles that try to analyze and explain the conflict between the hard and soft sciences. In my casual web surfing I have come across e.g. highly-trained scientists who yet express a deep disdain for fields as open-ended and far-ranging as sociology, feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, and so on, sometimes even economics, psychology. I find such attitudes hard to comprehend, and even disturbing since my educational background is in the applied sciences. Which are the important works that have been done to better understand this ongoing social/intellectual gap, and that are presented in a readable manner for a non-expert?
I just finished up my third semester of a PhD program in information studies. There are parts I like, but as I get deeper into it I'm beginning to realize that those aren't in the majority to the parts I dislike. I have a masters in Library and Information Science and have been keeping an eye on job openings and it seems like there are a number that I would be a great fit for. I'm remembering how much I liked the job when I was in it, and I'd like to exit academia before sinking too much time into it. However, my GAship is providing a steady salary and health benefits. How do I do this in a way that works out well for both me and my adviser? [more inside]
I am graduating within the next year. I will have my PhD in Pharmacology - 4 first author publications, 1 patent. Several presentations at national conferences in my field. I also have an MS in Biochemistry and a BS in Math. 1 year of experience working as a research specialist in academia. Various extra curricular activities that demonstrate leadership. I want to make 100k a year or more. I want to do this reasonably quickly (within the next 4 years). I do not want to go back to any schooling of any type. What options are available for me?
I would like a low-cost tablet for academic work. Mainly reading and annotating PDFs and scientific papers, note-taking, and brainstorming/checklist-type activities. I have a Nook and barely use it because it's terrible with PDFs and can't do graphics and figures at all, even in the ePub format. I don't know anything about tablets--I don't even own a smartphone--so I have no idea where to start looking, what's appropriate, or what's a reasonable budget to expect. [more inside]
I'm coming to think that, while I don't hate academia, I'm beginning to like it less and less and have apprehensions about continuing through to my dissertation. I'm in my second year of the PhD program, and have a masters with practical application in the field that I was working in before deciding to continue on to my PhD. The place where I was working, a public library, is now hiring for a position similar to the one that I was in before I left. Typically my master's degree would command a higher salary, and I think I would probably need a little bit more than what they're offering to live comfortably and start paying down my extant debt accrued during my masters (I'm not taking on any new loans, thankfully). I left on great terms, and feel like a really strong candidate for the job with the skills I've gained in the interim, but would only be able to take it with slightly higher salary than they offer now. I loved this job, and it's looking more and more appealing compared to my current experience in academia. What steps should I take to contact the HR department of the library system to a) let them know that I'm interested and suss out how interested they might be in me, and b) talk about flexibility in salary? [more inside]
I am a 25 year old woman, and handing in my thesis tonight for a Master’s in English. I am at a crossroads in my life, and it’s making me very confused. My original plan was to go on to complete a Ph. D and become a college professor of English, while working as an adjunct instructor to gain teaching experience. But with the expense of living being what it is, as well as the student debt I’m in, I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Not only will a Doctoral program take me to greater debt, but working as an adjunct wont pay very well at all, and doesn’t come with benefits. I would need to take a handful of other part-time jobs to supplement the adjunct salary, just to pay the bills. [more inside]
AcademicClothesFilter: MetaFilter, help me (20ish dude) find a store that sells awesome tweed or professorial-like sportscoats/jackets! I am a beginning academic who hates suits, but soon I will start to teach and go to conferences and will need to "look the part." Thus, I need to update my wardrobe with something thematically between "formal" and "wannabe hipster causal." The hitch is: I am sort-of built like a linebacker, with a very broad chest and very wide shoulders but with a not-quite-commensurately-large bottom torso, and thus sizing can often be an issue for me (i.e., getting more fabric "up top" in generic sizes ends up with billowing fabric down below). Is there any store that sells hot to trot professorial tweed that might fit someone with my body build? Or will I need to get a loose fit and then get it tailored? (Is that... what tailoring is?).
I'm trying to turn my masters report into a conference paper. This mainly involves shortening it by many, many pages. Masters reports in my department are not published or even listed online or at the library. The only way anyone could ever read it or even know about it is to ask me or my advisor for a copy. Instead, the way I am sharing the work is to write a conference paper on the same subject. Do I need to cite my own unpublished report? [more inside]
How soon can I realistically expect to go back into the classroom after giving birth? [more inside]
I'm defending my dissertation next week and the process has wrung all enthusiasm for academia right out of me. The whole enterprise has come to seem like nothing but an anxiety-ridden grind. In my small amount of free time before the defense and during the break I'm allowing myself afterwards, I'd like to read some novels that will delude me into thinking that being an intellectual is kind of, well, hot. Examples and extended description below. [more inside]
How bad of an idea it is to attend a university class given by a lecturer I've secretly dated? [more inside]
I'm a first-year masters student taking a course that is supposed to be the core curriculum of my discipline. My program is in systems ecology. I find myself increasingly frustrated with this professor and increasingly unable to hide it, and now he wants to "meet with me to talk about student-instructor dynamics". I need some help coming up with some strategies to deal with this professionally. Difficulty level: I'm a new graduate student, and he's the director of my program. The program is brand-new (just started spring semester of last year) and this is one of two core courses, both of which are taught by him. His course is so terrible that I'm considering transferring to another program within the university. Excruciating detail inside. [more inside]
I'd like to know more about SSRN, Arxiv, PLOS, and other open-access publishing platforms and how they work in your discipline. Do you publish in them? Do they keep you from publishing in other (more prestigious) journals later? Etc. [more inside]
I recently left a tenure-track position(!) for geographic reasons (spouse's job). At this point I am not wedded to staying in the faculty track, and have been applying for admin positions as well as faculty ones. However, I recently saw an ad for an analyst job in a higher ed consulting firm in a topic area where I have experience and interest, and I am very seriously considering applying. I have some questions about how to format my resume and cover letter . [more inside]
I'm a second-year grad student in the humanities going to (and presenting at!) my first major academic conference in about a week. I already have business cards, a list of sessions I'm interested in, and a probably absurdly high amount of anxiety. Fellow academics of MeFi, what do you recommend to maximize my conference experience?
I would like to become a professor but I'm a little worried about picking a spot in the U.S. to live for the rest of my life... [more inside]
Imagine you're allowed to give a nobel prize for five of the most seminal books of the past 50-60 years in whatever field you're interested and/or invested in. What would they be? The Nobel is usually given out to applied research and application and theory is eschewed. In this case you can give it to theoretical works as well. [more inside]
I'm on the academic job market and last year applied for a faculty position at a liberal arts school. It was basically my dream job, and I honestly thought I was a great fit for the position, so I was disappointed when I didn't get an interview. This year they're advertising the same job again, and I'm planning to apply again. How do I know what to change in my application? Should I mention the fact that I applied last year and was rejected, and if so how? [more inside]
I need someone to mentor me as I learn how to mentor. [more inside]
How do you force yourself to work hard when you just don't care? I'm looking for practical tips/tricks, cognitive/behavioral strategies, and MacGyver-ish life kludges for pervasive procrastination. [more inside]
A friend is in a bit of a tough spot right now and needs to talk to a therapist as soon as he possibly can. Money is a bit tight right now. I'm looking for all free/low cost therapy options in the Berkeley/Oakland area, who are familiar with depression and burnout.
I am in need of some help... I've just completed an M.A. in Anthropology, I'm trying to pull together a CV for a job teaching as an adjunct professor or community college professor. I don't have professional teaching experience, even though I've got loads of experience teaching to my peers in graduate seminars. (I'm also not sure how to convey that, other than in a cover letter.) I've got some of my written work (Academia.edu), and one of my presentations on YouTube. I'm in the process of revising some other papers to put on Academia.edu... Hoping, I suppose, that displaying my work will make me a better candidate. Now, here's the question: How can I make my existing (non-teaching!) work experience relevant to applying for academic jobs? [more inside]
I'm in a bind. Six years ago I made the mistake of entering grad school in a humanities field, in which pretty much the only career trajectory is to become an academic. I'm now pretty sure I wouldn't be happy in a standard academic job. However, I have few other marketable skills. There's the added complication that I'm a foreign student without a green card, so if I quit the program, or finish and fail to find a job, I'd have to leave the US and go back to my home country, which I don't want to do. I feel there must be possible courses of action which I'm not seeing, and would appreciate help finding them. [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations for labor lawyers in Washington state. [more inside]
I've been working as a non-tenure-track professor in the humanities for the last few years. I'm considering a career shift, and I'm thinking counseling might be a good fit for me. I imagine myself having a private practice where I primarily provide therapy to women. I am hoping this kind of change might offer me more career options and personal fulfillment than what I’m doing now. Still, I'm cautious. I need your wisdom! [more inside]
Not looking for pop psychology, but for fundamental texts that are unmissable. Work covering specific topics/subtopics (e.g., "this is the best book about borderline personality disorder") is fine too. I'm not going to be able to pursue another graduate degree for a while, so I'd like to start background and introductory reading for pleasure now (but I'd eventually like to work in the field). I have university library privileges! I've seen this ask, but it's a few years old and answers were rather thin. Go!
I may, in the future, have the opportunity to move to a management role in a union environment at a state university. Some state universities have professional unions and some have service employee unions. Do you have experience working or managing in an environment like this? How is it different from working in a non-union academic environment? If I were to make a move like this, how could I be the best manager for both union and non-union people possible?
...but this time there is a newborn baby! This fall I will begin my 5th year in an English PhD program. I have been ambivalent about staying in my program pretty much since the first year, but have always come down on the side of staying in, even though I long ago decided I don't want to even try to become an English professor. Three weeks ago my husband and I had a baby, and that is making me less confident I want to continue. I need some help sorting this out. [more inside]
What are the options for a skilled US citizen (advanced background in structural engineering) to get a work visa in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, or Switzerland? [more inside]
I like novels that take place in boarding schools (or in colleges that feel like boarding schools). I've been to Brakebills, Ault, Hampden, Devon, the Concent of Saunt Edhar (totally counts), the University of Missouri, Enfield Tennis Academy, and Hogwarts.* Where should I go next? [more inside]
Academic sabbatical +/- having a baby: how does that work? What is the most "logical" time frame for either of these to occur? Is this a bad idea altogether? [more inside]
I'm in academia and during summer my workload goes down quite a bit. I'm earning enough money through a part-time appointment and a grant stipend so that I don't necessarily need to work extra to make ends meet, and as such I anticipate having a great deal of free time. I have a few projects lined up with deadlines far in the future, and I'm looking for advice on ways to structure having a lot of free time without wasting it getting stuck in a social media / video game k-hole. [more inside]
I'm an academic, and am moving across the country (SF to Boston) for a one year gig. The new university is unfortunately not paying my moving expenses (nor a very high salary), and I'm trying to figure out the best way to get my stuff there. I'll be driving with a station wagon full of stuff, which should be fine for most of my stuff. But I'm not sure *all* of the boxes will fit, and I have a piano and couple of pieces of furniture that I would like to, but don't have to, bring. More below. [more inside]
So I have been working in an entirely different field for the last years and was never entirely sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I am certain at this point that I want to work in a field which involves, you know, nervous systems. Unsurprisingly, I am thinking of academia. [more inside]
I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
I'm starting graduate school in the fall: yay! I need to learn an entirely new set of norms around interviews, resumes, etc: oh no! I have a meeting set up with the head of a research institute where I'd LOVE to work there while I'm studying. What do I say? What's OK to ask for? [more inside]
After years of academia & the endemic rootlessness that comes with it, I have finally gotten myself a Permanent Job (yay!!) which means, among many things, that I can finally consolidate my book diaspora into one place. I've a huge number of books which are both physical and digital. Here's the problem: I want my library space to reflect both. Any suggestions? Details below. [more inside]
Bear with me, this is a little bit abstract out of necessity: I'm interviewing for a great job which is posted as somewhat outside my social sciences field. Let's call it Field X. One of the things I'm hoping to do in this interview is say that precisely because I am not directly in field X but come from somewhat-related-field Y, I can bring new and important insights to field X. How do I say this without sounding like I'm disparaging field X, which I definitely don't want to do? More thoughts after the jump. [more inside]