Prob. Res.
May 6, 2008 4:05 PM   Subscribe

What does "Prob. Res." stand for, in the context of a professor's C.V. that lists an advanced degree from a British university, with "Prob. Res" afterwards? Has anyone heard of this abbreviation?
posted by Kirklander to Education (10 answers total)
The two uses I've seen it for are problem resolver/resolved and probationary researcher, the latter post being one where one is in their first year or 1/3 of a research post.

Somewhat ambigous abbreviation though.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:34 PM on May 6, 2008

Response by poster: Very interesting. Could that mean someone didn't complete a degree?
posted by Kirklander at 4:51 PM on May 6, 2008

If in doubt, you could contact the registrar of the university in question.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:05 PM on May 6, 2008

Could it indicate their major? For example in my CV it says MSc (Physiology) which could be shortened to (Physiol) depending on the style I was following. You should be able to tell if this is likely or what it might be form the context of the CV although ideas that pop into my head include problem resolution and probability research.

For a definitive answer you could contact the university which awarded the degree (even checking their webpage might help). It might be some specialised thing they use, universities can be a bit weird like that sometimes.
posted by shelleycat at 5:13 PM on May 6, 2008

My best guess would be that it's a typo, and it's supposed to be "Prof. Res." which would stand for "Professor Resident," I would assume (at least, it's a very common abbreviation according to Google).
posted by cerebus19 at 7:12 PM on May 6, 2008

C.V. with undecipherable abbreviation and/or typo: Bottom of the pile!
posted by Joleta at 9:34 PM on May 6, 2008

Best answer: Almost certainly 'probationer (or probationary) research student', which means the period in which you're not officially registered as working towards a doctoral degree, but instead working towards being accepted onto what North Americans call a 'doctoral program[me]'.

For some arts/humanities D.Phil. courses in Oxford, that's the period when you're doing the one-year M.St. in research methods, since you can't be accepted onto a D.Phil straight after undergraduate study. (The alternative precursor to the D.Phil. is the two-year M.Phil, where you're not technically a probationer.)

I'm curious as to why it would be mentioned on a CV: but if it's meant as a gloss to explain a one-year advanced degree (M.St., MSc or similar) between the undergraduate degree and doctorate, it's entirely in order.
posted by holgate at 10:11 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks. There's actually no doctorate in this case.
posted by Kirklander at 9:07 AM on May 7, 2008

When you say professor are you using the US or UK context?

In the UK a professor is a tightly regulated title almost exclusively meaning someone with what in the US is called tenure and indicates a senior academic.

As I understand it, in the US the word is synonymous with lecturer and can be a lot more junior.
posted by unsliced at 9:11 AM on May 7, 2008

There's actually no doctorate in this case.

Really? In that case, if it's a job application, it might be worth asking why. Sometimes it's a case of not securing funding, though that's fairly rare for UK students in UK universities, where graduate study is usually contingent upon receiving a scholarship from one of the big postgraduate funding bodies. I've known people do the M.St. with a career development loan, but those are exceptional cases. Sometimes there's a transfer involved to another institution; sometimes personal circumstances intervene. But a PRS year without anything following it is a red flag in an academic CV.
posted by holgate at 12:49 PM on May 7, 2008

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