I HAVE SET UP THE 2009-2010 WIKI PAGE AND USED THE GOOGLE SPREADSHEET, IT CERTAINLY WILL REDUCE THE ACCIDENTAL FORMAT ERRORS AS SOME FOLKS MAKE CORRECTIONS (most of us understand spreadsheets!) :) (notice that comments and such are now listed across the bottom of the google spreadsheet just like tabs in excel. Just click and you get to them. I think I added a nice way for us to manage communications like questions and such. Check it out.teeheeeEdit
Important Information and Updates
It has been proposed that we move to using google spreadsheets for next year's wiki because they are much easier to edit and don't require any learning curve of the wiki markup. Please have a look at the 2009-2010 wiki page for links and information!
Please post all new vacancies on the 2009-2010 wiki page via google spreadsheet.
Please continue to update currently posted vacancies on the 2008-2009 wiki page!
2008-12-30 - Search suspended until mid-January due to budgetary constraints
2009-02-13- Official letter from search chair stating the position will not be filled this year and the search is suspended indefinitely due to budget cutbacks in the state of SC
College of the Atlantic
2008-11-07 - Review of applications begins
2008-12-12 - Received letter in mail indicating the search has been suspended "until we have a clearer sense of how this crisis will affect our budget for the next academic and fiscal year"
College of New Jersey
Organismal Biology -Department of Biology
2008-09-15 - Review of applications begins
2008-10-20 - Phone interviews scheduled for week of 20 October.
Rejection letter via email - on-campus interviews are completed
2008-12-20 - Offer accepted - search complete
2009-02-19 - Received email today stating that "in light of the excellent pool of candidates we obtained we are now in a position to potentially hire a second organismal biologist"
2009-02-19 - They had two other searches going, so my guess is that one (or both) of them failed and they're going back to the organismal search with the freed up funds. It sounds like a great place so good luck to those in the running!
2009-02-19 - They are doing the same thing with the geneticist position that they advertised and filled. It looks like their search for a Biology Education position may have failed, since they're now looking for someone to teach interdisciplinary science courses for the elementary education majors, among other things. My guess is they're hoping to pull from the Organismal and Genetics pools to fill this one position.
College of William and Mary
Conservation Biology - Department of Biology
2008-11-01 - unofficial Application deadline
2008-11-08 - search is reportedly on hold for budget reasons
2008-12-12 - Campus interviews scheduled for late Jan/early Feb
2009-02-18 - Top candidate has been offered position
CampusInt: 1 of 3
College of William and Mary
Marine Invertebrate Zoology - Department of Biology
2008-10-27 - Application deadline
search is apparently going forward, in spite of budget
2008-12-11 - Phone interviews scheduled
2008-12-31 - Campus interviews scheduled for late Feb/early Mar
2009-01-15 - Received rejection email
CampusInt: 1 of 4
2008-09-30 - Application deadline
2008-10-27 - Phone interview
2008-11-03 - Scheduling campus interviews
2008-10-15 - Application deadline
2008-10-20 - First cut made
2008-11-19 - Interviews began last week
2009-01-12 - Offer made, declined
Center for a Sustainable Future, Climate Change Initiative, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
2009-02-09 - Application deadline
Two assistant or associate professor positions-open department
Atmospheric Science and Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
Applied: 2 (BGC), rejection email received 2 April 09, 100+ applicants.
Dept of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology
2009-01-23 - Email stating that due to a hiring freeze on state agencies in Connecticut the search has been terminated; Applications will be kept on file for a year in the hopes that the position will be restored.
Eastern Kentucky University
Assistant Professor - Aquatic Invertebrate Zoology
2009-01-14 - Application deadline
2009-02-03 - References contacted
2009-02-04 - Phone interviews
2009-03-04 - still interviewing
2009-03-20 - Position readvertised on HigherEdJobs.com; Applications still being accepted
2009-04-08 - campus interviews end; offer to be made w/in 1 week
ShortList: 2 of 6
CampusInt: 1 of 6
Eastern Kentucky University
Assistant Professor - vertebrate morphologist/physiologist
2009-01-14 - Application deadline
2009-03-06 - Have a telephone interview. They are hoping to narrow down the shorter list.
2009-04-08 - Campus interviews begin
Assistant Professor - Environmental studies
2008-10-31 - Application deadline
2008-11-05 - Reference letters requested
2008-11-13 - Rejected by email
2008-11-14 - Finalists notified, but also told search is indefinitely on hold for budgetary reasons
2008-11-19 - Rejected by email
2008-12-12 - Search canceled for the year due to economy
Assistant Professor - Science
2008-12-16 - Open until filled
2009-02-02 - Called Human resources - People already invited for interviews.
Evergreen State College
Regular Faculty Member - Sustainable Agriculture
2009-01-08 - Application deadline
2009-01-18 - Came home from a trip abroad to find a letter stating search canceled due to economic crisis.
Florida Atlantic University
Wetland Plant Ecologist
2009-02-05 - Application deadline
2009-03-04 - Reference letters requested
2009-03-31 - Campus interviews scheduled
Florida International University
2008-12-01 - Application deadline
2008-12-05 - Letters requested from references
2009-01-16 - email invitation for on-campus interview
2009-04-01 - the Biology division/department has decided to halt the recruitment process and withdraw this position
Offered: 1 - this position has been filled, not withdrawn
Florida International University
Tropical Plant Conservation
2009-01-15 - Application deadline
2009-01-29 - Letters requested from references
2009-02-20 - campus interviews being scheduled
2009-04-10 - position offered, negotiations in process
2008-12-01 - Campus interviews 1st & 2nd week of December
2009-02-17 - Received rejection letter by mail informing me that they have conducted interviews and will offer the position to one of the three interviewee's. Letter was dated Jan 14th and wasn't post marked until Feb 12th!
2009-03-06 - Contract signed. FYI, contract was postmarked on Feb 12, the same date as the rejection letters (see above).
2008-10-27 - Application deadline
2008-12-11 - campus interviews scheduled for February
2009-02-26 - offer made
2008-10-21 - Application deadline
2008-11-07 - phone interview scheduled
2008-11-25 - scheduling campus interviews for mid-January
scholarly focus is environmental science and the relationships among ecology, technology, social change and policy
areas of emphasis include: socio-ecological issues of agricultural landscapes and production systems, policy issues relevant to ecosystem services (biodiversity and introduced species), coupled human and natural systems, and the sustainability of bio-based economies, including alternative energy
2008-11-25 - References contacted for letters, including some ecologists
2008-12-09 - Over 800 applications received
2008-12-11 - From the search chair: a long list of 30 has been made and a short list of 10 will be made tomorrow (12/12). (I'm not on either list, so I don't know if the long/short list candidates have been notified; just figured I'd pass along what I heard when I enquired about the search status)
2008-12-18 - Interviews scheduled (8 candidates for 3 positions)
2009-01-04 - Surprising given the above, I just received an email stating that I made the short list of 48 out of a pool of nearly 800 applicants (!) and that they hope to finalize their interview list by the end of the month
2009-01-22 - Letters of recommendation requested by SC
could you explain this last update? The letters were required with the application so I'm not sure what you mean when you say that they were requested... Did you not submit them originally?
2009-01-23 - I got the email asking for letters, too. I already sent my letters, and I know all 3 were sent (my letter writers are very responsible). So I am not sure what's going on.
2009-01-23 - PSU advertised in several locations. At least one of the ads asked for references to send letters, and another ad did not ask for reference letters. This is why there is a discrepancy between posts.
2008-12-02 - ". . . regretfully, I must tell you that the position has been frozen because of the economic situation. I received word of that from our Provost last week . . . We are disappointed but have hopes that the search can be re-opened next year."
2009-02-20 - notified by committee chair that the positions was in limbo and they may start moving on it in March. Still might get frozen out.
2009-02-20 - This position was just re-advertised in the latest Science.
2009-04-02 - Notified by email that the short list of top 6 candidates sent to upper administration. They hope to interview 3 to 4 candidates in April.
2009-04-10 - Invited for campus interview. I am unsure of the total number of candidates invited, however. Interviews will take place over the next couple weeks.
ShortList: 1 of 6
CampusInt: 1 of 4
Offered: Job offered and accepted
University of British Columbia
3 positions: Molecular/Biochemistry/Ecology - Dept. of Botany and Zoology
2009-01-15 - Application deadline
2009-02-12 - Letters requested (x 2)
2009-02-25 - Deadline for Letters
2009-03-22 - Was told they couldn't tell me if I made the "short list" (it wasn't finished), but I didn't make the "long list". (!!!)
2009-04-1 - I emailed and an administrator emailed back to say that the short list had been finalized and that they were interviewing those applicants. One question: this was advertised as 4 positions. Did that change?
2009-04-8 - Still 4 positions as of 03-27. I made the "long list" (02-12) but have not heard anything lately. Have short listed applicants been contacted
2009-04-21 - Received email that an EEB committee and an MCB committee were put together to short list 11 candidates from 180 applicants. Told that, although I wasn't short listed, my application would be saved until decisions were final.
Conservation Genetics, Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation
2009-01-05 - Application deadline
2009-01-27 - Letters requested from references.
2009-02-17 - Top 5 candidates selected, see comments below
Applied: 3 of 60
CampusInt: 1 of 5
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Aquatic Ecology/Fisheries Science, Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation
2009-01-05 - Application deadline
2009-01-27 - Shortlist made
2009-02-17 - Interviewees invited, interviews last week Feb & first week Mar
CampusInt: 1 of 5
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Assistant or Associate Professor of Biology
2009-01-15 - Application deadline
2009-02-12: Received form letter indicating not all references sent letters (?) and requesting that all references be submitted by 2/15. Had all refs "resend" letters. As of 3/5 haven't heard anything back from them.
University of Michigan
2008-11-15 - Application deadline
2008-12-16 - Interviews scheduled
2009-01-14 - Rejection letter received
CampusInt: 1 of 6
University of Michigan-Flint
2009-03-15 - Application deadline
2009-04-01 - short list requesting reference letters
2009-04-06 - Phone interviews (take place Friday 4-10 and Mon 4-13)
2009-04-22 - on campus interviews the first part of May
ShortList: 1 of ??
PhoneInt: 1 of ??
CampusInt: 1 of ??
offers: They offered to someone who has not yet accepted.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Behavior -Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
2008-12-01 - Application deadline
2008-12-19 - First (?) cut made and reference letters requested for Behavior position (notified by e-mail)-- 25 applicants on the list
2008-12-23 - The letter to the rejects said that there were 123 applicants
2009-01-25 - Received notification by e-mail that I had made shortlist of 10 but would not be invited for an interview
2009-01-28 - Interviews set for second half of February. List is on the department web page. 5 candidates. 
Applied: 8 of 123
ShortList: 3 of 25
CampusInt: 0 of 5
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Ecology -Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
2008-12-01 - Application deadline
2008-12-22 - reference letters requested (notified by email)
2009-01-05 - first cuts made (email)
2009-01-05 - Rejection via email, "123 applications rigorously reviewed and discussed by search committee"
2009-02-10 - Interviews set for March. List is on the department web page. 5 candidates. 
Applied: 7 of 123
CampusInt: 0 of 5
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Evolutionary Biology Dept Plant Biology
2008-11-01 - Application deadline
2008-12-22 - Contacted to ask for references to be sent
2008-12-27 - (references requested from 15-20 applicants,
2009-02-13 - 3 applicants selected for interviews
2009-03-13 - Job offered to top candidate
University of Missouri
Division of Biological Sciences
2008-12-01 - Application deadline (Science)
Tenure-track position in ecological modeling
2009-02-09 - Looks like the state imposed a hiring freeze last fall 
2009-03-17 - Search resurrected and candidates invited in March/April
University of Montana, Missoula
Aquatic Ecologist - Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences
2008-12-01 - (from someone at UW, not in the market for this job) -- An offer was made about a week ago to the top-ranked candidate
University of Washington
Open search in all areas of biology with an emphasis on cell biology, development, and physiology - Department of Biology
2008-10-15 - Application deadline
2008-10-25 - Rec letters requested, including for some ecologists
2008-12-05 - It appears is that because of the economy they have had to scale back the number of positions they can hire this year from 4-5 to 1-2 and are only focusing on cell/development/physiology at this point (ie no ecologists)
A firefox tip, if the "paper" background is bugging you, use adblock to get rid of it... if you have the adblock extension installed, right click on the image on the left hand side of the webpage and block it... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10
Add replies as bullet points - start your reply with an asterisk * and change the date so that updates are easy to find.
When you edit a section, use the "Preview" button to ensure you formatted it properly before saving.
CATEGORY (university, advice, wiki, etc...)
Wiki - Google Docs
Does anyone else think the Google Doc's is a bad idea? I just noticed that when I sorted the columns a few moments ago, a message popped up indicating it would ALSO change the view of other people currently viewing the google doc. This is bad news, especially when many of us will be checking/sorting it for our own reasons. To nip this in the bud, I suggest we keep it the same as it was last year. Any other suggestions?
I personally like this format MUCH more. The Google Docs, just doesn't seem to present the data as nicely.
I also like the old format better.
I think the old format was great, especially when folks don't understand how to insert their data and delete half the table, screw up the entire page, and also, if two folks are editing at the same time on the wiki it also causes problems. However, the wiki was better from one specific angle, everything could stay on one page. With the spreadsheet we will have to limit the page to 100+ inserts, but this isn't a huge problem. The data sorts faster, the data inserts faster, and the presentation is about the same from my view. Furthermore, you can set it to email you when a change is made. I understand that some may have gotten used to one format over the other, but we really need stability and ease of use. It is pretty clear that some folks simply can't figure out how to edit a wiki page and if they jump on with the wrong browser by accident they mess up the format and anger folks. THe utility of the spreadsheet is by far simpler, and if someone screws it up, I really don't see ho they can unless its deliberate, then it can be fixed very fast because google saves all the past docs just as does the wiki.
I think we should go back to the old format. You can view (the username/ID) of who ever else is viewing the pages at the same time, and its NO LONGER anonymous! I seriously would like to put it to a vote. Lots of potential issues, privacy, limitation of responding to comments, spreadsheets limited to 100 lines, etc with Google docs......
1) you can only view the user/ID if you are signed into google. Just sign out and you will be anonymous, the spreadsheet is set to allow anyone who is not signed in to make changes. Its anonymous if you follow directions. 2) privacy is not an issue, 3) what limitation to responding you can put in tons of comments!, 4) spreadsheet is not limited to 100, we hit the plus sign and got it up to 510 today! again, read directions. 5) Frankly, what are you scared of? Someone might see that you added a job? Its not like we are commenting on the schools, and if you do this...go to the universities to love and to hate thread on the main homepage of academic wiki!
University - Fordham
Anyone know why Fordham is doing such a late TT search?
My guess is they just got budgetary approval from the Dean or Provost.
Person in position just got a job elsewhere.
Just as an FYI, this one is posted on the new wiki (google spreadsheet) linked above. You might want to post your question on the discussion page of the spreadsheet in case some folks are not looking here anymore. I saw the Fordham post too. I was pretty excited until I realized it was in the Bronx. Way too urban for me, but the school looks like a fantastic place.
Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes and the second law of thermodynamics. All three are processes in which useful or accessible forms of some quantity, such as energy or money, are transformed into useless, inaccessible forms of the same quantity. That is not to say that these three processes don't have fringe benefits: taxes pay for roads and schools; the second law of thermodynamics drives cars, computers and metabolism; and death, at the very least, opens up tenured faculty positions.
Seth Lloyd, writing in Nature 430, 971 (26 August 2004); doi:10.1038/430971a
Has anyone heard anything from the Univ. of Vermont (wildlife ecology)? Seems really late in the season to be interviewing and I'm wondering if it's just a sham ad for an internal hire (although my references got called).
I don't know - but I do know that you were the last to add to this table and you screwed up the format (which I just fixed, you're welcome). You finished a PhD, so I would think that you could figure out how to click on <Preview> before you save the page!!
My references were not contacted, so I don't know. In any case, "sham" faculty searches are extremely rare, unless you're being forced to hire the Dean's son-in-law. Even if there is an "inside candidate", there is no reason why the SC should not shop around and check if there are candidates out who are better. After all, it's a SC's market out there this year - it's a good university in a good location, and there are a ton of great available candidates out there this year.
Next year's formatting
I've been lurking on the discussion about formatting next year's wiki. The Google spreadsheet appears to be a possible solution, but doesn't solve the root problem. The reason this wiki got out of hand this year is because there was a well-intentioned hope that data of equal quality and quantity could be captured for each advertised position. I think a quick scan of the job table shows that not to be the case for most postings. Moving to a spreadsheet format just gives us a way to organize all those 0's. Moreover, what is the point in collecting all this data in the first place? Unless we can also improve the participation rate in filling in all those cells the data we do collect will be so sparse so as to be of little value. And even if we do collect good data, what will it be used for?
I propose two suggestions for next year;
The Psychjobs wiki appears to be capturing the same data as we are in a much more concise and coherent manner. Could we adopt a similar format.
I much prefer the table format, the advantage is that we can sort by deadline and last updated, the format on the psychjobs is only alphabetical. Based on surveys from last year, many people preferred having a table sortable by many columns. However, I agree that the table could be shortened, the bookkeeping tallies have too many 0's to justify the lengthiness of the wiki. We started the year out without those tallies and the table was much tighter.
Wikia has a Forum tool. If we were to add this functionality to the wiki a good deal of the ancilary discussion that goes on in this table and the jobs table could be better organized.
The purpose of the discussion on the main page is that people actually look at it. In the past, the discussion was on the discussion tab, which looked a little closer to the forum tool you suggested. However, there was very little response. Also, is the forum tool really that much better, this help page which uses the forum tool still looks very messy example forum page.
I think by streamlining the postings and normalizing the way the discussions work this wiki might even improve the uptake rate by new users who happen upon this wiki next year.
The suggestion for moving to the Google spreadsheet is so that editing the page is much easier, this and visibility are probably some of the main reasons why more people are not visiting. Just a thought.
From a community perspective, what we want is good basic reporting on status (shortlist, interviews, offers). The simpler that is, the more will participate. I liked the previous table format without including all the numbers applied etc. Ultimately, if I'm not on the interview list, I don't care who or how many applied. If I am on the interview list, I don't care who or how many applied. I might care about who else is interviewing, but not much.
However, if somewhere around half, or lets say its even 1/3 of participants do care, is it really that inconvenient to sort this table?
I definitely prefer the google spreadsheet to the current wiki page so long as they are linked so it is easy to find it.
the extra reporting makes the tables less efficient and the extra information is generally bad information, as pointed out above. Why bother? That question still hasn't been answered.
why bother? Because some folks do care! However, I do agree with you that it does clutter the wiki table, however, the google spreadsheet is so easy to use this ceases to be a problem. Unless you consider a two second scroll rather than a 1 second scroll down the list an inconvenience. Seriously, if we use the spreadsheet, these issues will be mute.
Hello my under-employed ecological brethren. Here is the solution to our employment problems. We find a way to use our talents as a group. For example, We start an aggregated weblog about all things ecology. Similar to a Ecological Huffington Post. There we promote our research, the cool work of others, comment on social and environmental issues lending our authority as scientists, etc. This is the first step. The money generated from the ads on the website will be leveraged for funds to building an independent Ecological think-tank/research center. It would be cool to include a teaching mission to host a specialized topics summer school. We research, we make money, we become influential, we teach (a little), but most importantly, we let the other suckers worry about getting low-paying, shot in the dark academic positions. Comments?
I'm game! how we want to hook up for this venture???
Wiki - VOTE for next year
Do you want to keep the bookkeeping tallies for each school on here for next year? (e.g. # applied ...)
The wording of the second response is hilarious, by the way.
Before making changes for next year, we should add the previous votes before this poll went up, 10 wanted a shorter table, 6 wanted to keep the bookkeeping tallies.
See this is exactly the problem. The poll as it was was perfectly fine. Yes that is a nice and fancy thing you've put there, but it is unnecessary and as you admit, doesn't consider the previous votes. So, do I vote again? This is becoming a true tragedy of the commons folks. Enough, already.
At least it looks like more people are voting now that they don't have to go into the wiki edit mode.
is it possible to do this kind of thing on the wiki page? Maybe a simple fill in box? Then folks could just type in the info or click the dot as appropriate? Make it easier to leave info.
I like that format, it has all the essential info that there is in the full sized table, but it is easier to scroll up and down. For the record, I voted for more information.
I guess this can be done one of two ways: (1) embed this spreadsheet into the wiki page so that comments and survey info can be linked together, or simply link it at the top of the page so folks can go there and fill in info. I think I have it fully editable, so if someone wants to increase the number of columns with other bits of info they can. The most important info is the most recent and should be on the left side of the spreadsheet. Old info and commentary should go on the right side. THat is my only opinion on the matter at this time! If someone want to try to embed this thing, go for it. i could not figure it out. But, linking will work just fine from where I stand!
as an fyi, if you sign up for google documents and then go to this spreadsheet, you will find that there is a way to subscribe to changes. In that case, you could easily have it notify you if a change has been made as it will send you an email each time. When you open the file, in the upper right hand corner is a link that says "share" and you can set the notification as you like.
i set up an account so that you don't have to use your own. Hopefully someone can now figure out the embed part and put it in the testing section below.
login: email@example.com, then type the word wiki twice.
I'm not sure if sorting will work correctly on the dates unless it is YYYY-MM-DD, you might want to check this and change if needed.
It's ok! I realized that it does not show my name so no problem, and even so still not a problem in hind site. Because this is a spreadsheet, we should be able to write in dates in a traditional manner and they will still sort! Also, now anyone can edit the page..earlier I had it set up in a way that did not allow this. The embedding is still a question. However, there is no reason we cannot link the thing as I have done above. At the top of next year's page put a link to each archive and then the current link should go directly to the google doc. This is about as simple as it can get and almost anyone can edit a spreadsheet at this simple level! :)
It appears that embedded spreadsheets cannot be edited in the wikia per the following linked help page:
I think embedding under these circumstances may create confusion with many folks just looking. Maybe better just to put in a "link page" wherein all questions and surveys are found and a link to jobs is posted. Anyone find out another way to do it, feel free. I embedded the spreadsheet, very poorly, at the bottom of the page if anyone wants to see what the above linked sheet looks like w/o actually going there!
I agree that a link is probably better and will lead to less confusion.
I've added other tabs for the other content on this page, perhaps we can try to just move everything over there for next year. It is so much easier to edit.
I started moving the surveys, perhaps someone can help finish this.
Does google spreadsheets allow rollbacks, in case someone comes in and vandalizes the page?
If you login you can look at the revisions. I'm assuming you can rollback, but this is a good point, perhaps you can test it out. A login is posted a few comments above.
YES!! each person that edits saves a copy on their own account and there will be a copy on the master account. Therefore, any error can be corrected, probably more easily than with the wiki.
What's wrong with the job table now? There's no edit button and there haven't been any updates in a week (which I find hard to believe).
Has no one made any updates since 4/12 or is the job table not working correctly?
No, people forget to update "date of most recent news" column. Just like they forget to move the rows that they edit on this table to the top. Sheesh, you'd think that PhD's would be able to follow simple instructions.
Actually, I would be making updates, but I dont see an "edit" button for the job table, so I cant figure out how to post updates.
I'm not sure where the old edit button next to the job table went, but I believe that now you have to use the green edit button next to the "important information & updates" section and then scroll down past the survey section to edit the job table.
You can always press the edit button at the very top of the page, that will open the wiki code for the entire wiki page. I think that internet explorer is messing up some of the formatting which is causing the edit button problems, so if you can use another browser, please do so!
Wiki - next year
Looks like there may be a number of return visitors here next year, anyone have suggestions for improvements to the wiki? Now is about the right time to brainstorm for next year...
The number one thing would be to advertise this list more widely. As someone who monitors Ecolog-l, I missed the initial posting in August and didn't find out about the wiki until some time in November. I had heard a rumor that such a list existed in past years but was never able to find it. Once I was told it was a wiki, I found it very quickly but I had searched for about a year before I got the "wiki" tip. So, my suggestion is to advertise widely so we have a greater pool of the candidates. My impression is that we represent about 10% of job applicants for Assistant Professor positions. It would be nice to have the other 90% of folks on here so we can be better informed.
How about dropping all the bookkeeping items in the job postings (i.e., # applied, # shortlisted, etc). This is all irrelevent. All that matters is 1) in what stage is the search and 2) have you advanced to the next stage. Whether 10 or 100 people say they applied is meaningless. Does knowing that 20 vs 46 people were shortlisted or how many people applied make you feel any better about your rejection letter? You still didn't get the job! All these stats do is make the job table 3x as long.
I agree that the table is clumsily long but it is nice to have all of the information in one place. One of the goals of next year's wiki should be to increase participation so everyone is better informed. Without a barometer of proportion of applicant pool represented we won't know what level of participation this wiki represents. As a purist, one could argue that the wiki is also unnecessary - again it won't change your chances of getting a job. Given that we can sort by recent update and alphabetically, there isn't too much down side to all of the clutter. It does make me feel a little better knowing I was in a short list of 20 vs 46 even if I didn't move beyond that. Little bright lights of hope in this tunnel of gray sometimes help. And knowing how many others share my pain helps me get through all of this - sort of like an academics anonymous self help group.
Keep all the info and add more. As the above poster states there is no downside at all to giving extra information. I think that the ideal page would have some means for us to create an anonymous user profile which could then be linked to all the jbs that we applied to, got shortlisted for, interviewed at etc. That way we would all know exactly what level of competition we are up against and exactly what type of candidate the schools are looking at (i.e. are you really a good fit or not). While this might now change if you get a job offer it will give you a better understanding of why you do or do not get an offer from a certain school.
I vote to eliminate the clutter. I'm kind of surprised at how many people follow and/or care about a position that they weren't asked to interview for and how personally some seem to take it. If they don't want you, you don't want them, its that simple. How much can you really read into the numbers other than you weren't selected? Meanwhile, it makes the whole thing unwieldy and may actually prevent people from joining in because it is so long and looks complicated. I WAS a big fan of looking at the history files to quickly see what updates have been posted rather than spending a lot of time flipping through the table and keeping track of the 30+ schools I applied to. All the bookkeeping makes that impossible. Keep it simple. If anything, we should emphasize that people make sure to change the date when something is updated so you can use the sort button. That alone would make this a much more useful site than knowing that 200 people applied for the same job.
I agree that we need more advertisement to get more participation. I also think that some of the detail is necessary. It does make a big difference if 20 people that applied for a job are using the wiki versus only 2 (or worse, you are the lone applicant on the wiki!)-- it is much more likely that the updates on the search progress are up-to-date with more participants. On the other hand, some of the book-keeping could be removed (e.g. how many got phone interviews, campus interviews, etc), except for those posts where people really want to share. To the previous poster, I don't see why the clutter makes it hard to check the schools you are interested in, unless people don't change the date when they update their info.
Previous poster here, I found that when folks forget to update the date of change, the quickest way to search for changes was to look at the history file. With all the book keeping, the number of changes to the wiki went up drastically, making finding new changes difficult. Again, looking at status for 30+ schools was time consuming given how large each entry was and how rarely it changed, but keeping track of them every few days was easy with the history file. One way to solve that would be to have some kind of time stamp on each change that would be automatically entered and allow one to sort. I also don't put too much trust in self-reported data, which is why I don't think that it is particularly useful. I think the goal should be to maximize participation and the singal to noise ratio. The more user friendly, the more users. I would also like to see SC members monitoring this site and perhaps even providing updates themselves. Next season, perhaps the gurus here could include an invitation to do so in their announcements on ecolog-l and elsewhere. I would encourage them to advertise their positions here as well.
I agree that we should eliminate the clutter, the table was much better before someone added the tallies under each school. I just want to know the status of the search, and if the campus is interviewing 3 people, it was better when we were adding the date and then "on campus interviews schedule - 3 people invited"... I have a feeling numerous people are not bothering with the tallies even if they are visiting this site.
I still think that there is a middle ground. It IS useful to know how many people on this wiki applied to a certain job, and the rest of the info (if desired to be included) can be put in text as the PP mentioned. So no clutter, but at indicate # applied that are on this wiki?
How about something other than a wiki? A wiki's biggest weakness is the same as its biggest strength: it's ultimately flexible. A more constrained system would automatically update the date, allow you to just click "I applied" instead of changing "25" to "26" in the job table, prevent formatting blunders (what's with those =='s at the top anyhow?) Of course, someone would have to do a little programming...
I vote for a simple table. If people want more details on each position, they could make a link to a separate page with additional info. Or is that too complicated? Are we limited to one page?
I think we can all agree on two things, the current format is too long and some people prefer to get as much information as possible, such as how many applied for a job. Having an spot for something such as the number of people who got a phone interview, while seemingly informative when it was added to the wiki, is now just taking up space because many places did not have phone interviews, many places did not indicate how big the shortlist was, etc. Two possibilities could be that people could simple add the recent activity (e.g. shortlist 1 of 20) if they choose to rather than have all the possibilities listed out beforehand (the hazard being that some people won't know what to do) or we could have them in sentence format rather than columns (e.g. applied 1 of 298, shortlist 1 of 20, campus interview 1 of 4, job offer accepted).
It's a webpage folks. If you fingers are hurtin' cause you have to scroll down a bit more, etc., you probably don't have the kind of energy needed to succeed in academia anyway! If you applied to so many jobs that you don't remember where you applied, well, then you probably really don't want the job do you.
Some people want to improve things, others will accept mediocrity
Actually, it's not a matter of fingers "hurtin'", it's the lack of efficiency and the resulting wasted time. If you can't comprehend this then you probably won't succeed in academia because 1) you are inefficient and 2) you obviously aren't working hard enough to be annoyed about your time being wasted.
Perhaps someone can look into google spreadsheets and forms for next year maybe, this might make for much easier editing, and i think they can be embedded and editable by the world on websites. There is also a time-stamp function. We could test it out in the comments section now potentially if someone figures it out.
Wiki - Editing screwups
Who keeps making all of the superfluous edits that end up screwing up the formatting? I've had to undo edits several times this week. The latest edit created a 5th column in the job table, got rid of all of the hyperlinks, removed the column headers, removed the ability to jump to the starting letter of a school, etc. Is this supposed to help? Please stop. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. At the very least, preview your changes!
Let me second that. The <Preview> button is there for a reason - if you can finish a PhD, than you can figure out how to at least check that you haven't screwed up the format of the table before you save the mess-up!
What's the deal with the wiki formatting no longer working in the job table part of the page? For example, all of the hyperlinks no longer function, code like adding in single quotes to denote italics or bold no longer work, etc. What is the "<no wiki>" hypertext used for - it has been edited into much of the page over the past week? Someone went to a lot of trouble to screw the job table up - it's unclear why they would do that - especially since the code inserted doesn't work.
Whoever edited the U of Missouri job search on the 17th of March deleted the first two columns in the process. That resulted in the entire table being screwed up. I think I've fixed it (at least regarding the extra column), and I hope that the job info that I resurrected is correct. Anybody who knows better, please check. Anybody, that is, except the inept bumbler who updated that entry on the 17th of March!
Besides human error, I think the new wiki editor that shows up on internet explorer is causing some of these formating problems.
University - Florida International University
Can the person who posted that the plant conservation position at FIU has been canceled please say where you got your info? I am hoping that this was just a sick 04/01 joke!?
Although the Plant position is not cancelled as of yet, the Population Genetics position is. It is expected that the cancellation of the Plant Conservation position will be announced soon.
I have been offered the Plant Conservation position and assured that it will not be canceled. Please be careful not to keep spreading misinformation.
I also received an email to inform me that the Pop Gen position had been withdrawn and the search canceled. I am not sure about the Plant position but it seems strange that two people report the Pop Gen position cancelation.
job market update
its getting worse, not better.
Since 2000, not counting this year, there are on average 257 postings per year, we are only at 162 vacancies this year. Every month (Jan-Apr) in 2009 has had the lowest number of vacancy deadlines since before 2000, making spring 2009 the worst job market in the decade. CLICK ON THE FIGURE TO SEE IT BIGGER!
Here are the vacancies each year starting in 2000 as posted on the website of the Physiological Ecology section of the Ecological Society of America.
Thanks again for the analysis. I predict a rebound next year, if not a bumper crop. Previous low years were followed by spikes.
It actually looks to me like there is a 2-year lag following a high year. 2001 was a peak followed by 2 bad years (2002,2003), 2004 was a peak followed by 2 bad years (2005, 2006). Adding insult to injury is the fact that the 2nd year is usually worse than the first bad year, suggesting 2009-2010 will be even worse than this year. Ugggh.
My admittedly uninformed fear is that next year is when all the belt-tightening will really show up. And faculty that may have planned on retiring will have reconsidered their plans after seeing their 401(k)s go into the toilet. But please, convince me otherwise!
that's pretty much my take, too. Sorry. I do think that the only consolation will be that those positions that are advertised will be less likely to be pulled.
there is a loose pattern that house of rep election years have fewer posts than non-HR election years. Possibly following that trend? Also, not a long series, but there is a good year, then a drop, then a drop again and then another good year. Again, this pattern may be an artifact of one presidency!
Jobs appear to be highest when Curt Schilling's team wins the World Series. The bad news is that he's now retired.
The hypothesis that the elements in this time series are independent of one another cannot be rejected (p=0.4286, runs test). I will leave it to somebody else to do the Schilling test. ;)
Advice - Waiting
The suspense is killing me. For those with interviews, I'm curious how long you waited after the last interview to know whether you got the job.
Less than one week: 3
1-2 weeks: 0
2-3 weeks: 4
3-4 weeks: 2
4-6 weeks: 3
6+ weeks: 0
How many weeks would you wait before asking the search committee chair?
I just went through this myself and completely understand where you are coming from. Advice from other colleagues (grad. advisor and already tenured folk) was that I just needed to be patient. No email or contact with the chair will help you at this point. If you can't control yourself, I'd say you can send a single follow-up email ~1 month from the 'last' interview, but any more than that and you will come across as desperate. Good luck!
I always ask the department chair and the SC chair when they estimate they will contact their first choice and let the others know of the final decision. They should know, and it is perfectly acceptable to ask these questions. If I have not heard after those projected dates, I would send one courteous inquiry e-mail (but I've never had to).
Sometimes they don't give you a time frame at the interview even when you ask.
University - Mississippi State University
Could the individual posting the comment above informing the board that additional interviews have been scheduled please ellaborate on this. Where did you get this information and are you aware of how many additional candidates are being interviewed?
I have been informed that the university is in the latter stages of negotiations with the two successful candidates.
Offer made - not accepted
Given that one applied for a specific position, I am curious what sort of issues were the deal breaker for the folks that were made an offer but did not accept it? This seems particularly relevant given the competitive climate we are all experiencing. Was it salary? Startup? Finding a position for a spouse?
A few reasons, all at one place (which I really liked after the interview): Dean gave a weekend to decide, offer not negotiable, salary good but startup terrible, start date could not be changed.... Bottom line was if this person was going to be in charge, I didn't want to be there.
I turned down a regional state school (MS only) last year. Believe it or not, it was because I felt I did not "fit" well with them. Don't get me wrong, I did not feel like I was better than them, just that (with a few notable exceptions), I would not have been surrounded by "like-minded" people. I really liked the resources that a university of that size had to offer--it was pretty good (for that size). However, the salary was miserable and they kept touting how cheap it was to live there. When I actually did some research, it was no cheaper there than in cities 2-3 times that size. In addition, the location was too remote from family and my spouse would not have had any opportunities. As I put it to my spouse: it did not meet our specified minimum requirements for acceptance. Creating those requirements has really helped me. Even in this economy, I have no regrets.
I turned down a masters regional state school this year because 1) the facilities were really poor, 2) the start-up was so low that I knew it would be the end of any research productivity and 3) the teaching load was so high that I also knew that I would likely not ever get any meaningful research done. Neither the teaching load for this dept. nor low start-up were things that I could find out about before I went to interview (despite intensively searching the school's website). Actually, in retrospect, maybe I could have found out more about the teaching load, but it probably would not have discouraged me from applying because the information on the website was not explicit enough or clear enough for me to understand (2 classes per semester can mean a lot of things. At this school it meant 2 courses/semester, each of course had 3 sections of labs associated with the classes and I would have no TA support and would therefore be spending about 20-30 hours in classroom time- this excludes prep time) a week. The location was awful (which I knew before I applied), but I interviewed there hoping that research opportunities and other aspects would outweigh the bad location. In the end, nothing could change the fact that this was just not a good fit for me in a lot of different ways. And these are things that were not clear (despite doing a lot of homework on the university) prior to applying.
Any others that would like to share their story for this year?
It's hard to know what "we emphasize teaching" means until you've been able to spend some time actually talking to faculty in an interview setting. There are places that "emphasize teaching" and yet still manage to support quality research, and then there are places where faculty will flat out admit to you that you're not going to get any research done unless you can come up with a way for undergrads in one of your courses to actually generate data for you through class projects. This is particularly difficult to hear when you're coming (as most applicants probably are) from a context focused primarily on research. I applied to a number of places that "emphasize teaching", got an offer from one (master's level university, very limited master's program), and realized that I simply couldn't imagine such a dramatic change in my life on such short notice. I would have gone from almost all research to all teaching in a heartbeat, and my life would have become unrecognizable. I wasn't ready for that. There were other issues, as well--low salary, not the best location, not the best opportunities for my partner, etc. But the biggest issue was the radical change that accepting the job would have entailed.
It would be great if people who HAVE gotten offers this year (even if they are still negotiating) could update the negotiations web link for this wiki. Since we have such a different economic environment this year, it would be helpful to see how this is being reflected (or not reflected) in starting salary and start-up for universities that have kept searches going.
I don't feel comfortable updating the negotiations page yet, but I can give you my sense based on several interviews this year and an offer. First, the salary at most state schools are contractually-negotiated, so they are not and should not be lower during a year of economic crisis. Private schools may lower the salary (or not negotiate higher), but this is not my sense. Both types of schools, however, may have problems finding the cash right now to support the same start-ups as in past years. Compared to what recent hires have received, the start-up amounts seem to be the same or up to 50% lower. If you get in the negotiation phase, it should be very obvious what their new cut-off is given the current "economic crisis." Not fair, but that's the reality.
I concur with the above. My offer for salary at a research university was typical of that institution, but start-up was ~50% less than normal. I was told that the usual pool of $ for start-up was frozen. Negotiating for more start-up turned out to be useless.
No offer yet, but an unsolicited comment during a phone interview from the search chair at a regional state school indicated that NO start-up was available for the position this year, unlike in past years. Ugh.
Well, I hope the tenure committees reduce the requirements for tenure by 50% if they are going to reduce startup by 50%. All that these schools are doing is handicapping starting faculty by cutting (or eliminating) startup. It should be all or nothing - either you have money for a new position (including startup) or you don't. This reduction or elimination of startup is reprehensible and diminishes the probability of success for starting faculty, at least for those at research institutions. It's also likely to create animosity among faculty when the playing field is not equal.
Logical. And this is what would happen if we were unionized. But unfortunately I fear that many of us fall into the category of willing scabs and would be desperate enough to accept a position at lower pay/start-up but with same or greater expectations.
Desperate maybe, but willing- not just yet. I came to the conclusion that it would be a poor decision career-wise to take a position without start-up, and declined the offer. Although it would be a "job", it would be a career limiting/ending decision. While my back-log of papers would be enough to get tenure at University X, if your research isn't progressing, and the resources are not in place to make you successful, then your tenure isn't portable. What good is a tenured job if they don't support you, or your research?
Kudos to the previous poster. I admire your position and I would make the same decision if I were offered a "no startup" package. The irony is that if one was so good as to not need startup money, one wouldn't accept a position without startup. If one was so desperate to accept a no-startup position, they are likely to be doomed for tenure consideration. A lose-lose situation for the school and applicant. Analogy: Let's clearcut the forest so we can make a quick buck now but not worry about how we are going to earn a living in 5 years - after the forest has been mowed over.
I was just bumping this up as a reminder to folks - please fill in start-up values once you feel comfortable.
This is my first year on the "market" Like all of you, I want to know what is happening with the various searches. So, for many of the jobs I applied to I have actually tried to contact the search chair. In roughly 90% of cases, I get no response. What gives? I ask simple yes/no questions, no detailed responses are necessary. In fact, in one of the few responses I did get, the response was that they "couldn't divulge any information?" When did academic searches become a clandestine operation? Maybe a more seniored search veteran out there could explain why responses are so difficult to garner. It's borderline disrespectful to spend 10 years working towards applying for a job and to not even get a yes we are still considering you or a no you did not make the cut, especially because everyone running a search went through the same thing.
typically, if they won't devulge info it is because either A) they are closing it and don't want it public, or more commonly B) they are in negotiations with a candidate and can't say anything until the process is complete. They should, however, we willing to say that invitees have come to campus. Still, some university/state/system policies do not allow any notification until the process is complete.
This is my first real year on the market, and I say that its largely dependent upon the civility of the search chair. A large majority have been informative and even cordial, while others have been outright rude. That being said, you also need to craft your question carefully. While most cannot answer directly about your application status for the reasons the post above mentions, you can ask always about (1) timeline for contacting applicants, (2) timeline for interviews, or something about the timeline for the search. SC's can answer questions like that without divulging any sensitive information.
despite my previous (AB) post, your comment is DEFINITELY true. An experience I had at one university revealed that if the folks don't want to be open with you, you probably don't want to go there anyway (unless they give you very legit reasons without you having to ask). The crappiest schools I have been around have been the least civil and the least responsive. NO KIDDING!
How is knowing what is happening with the search going to help you? I know it's hard not knowing (and that's why this wiki exists) but emailing committees seeking the status of a search is not going to improve your chances of success. Their perception is often going to be that you're high maintenance and no one wants a high maintenance colleague. There are exceptions, like if you phone or live interviewed and haven't heard anything for weeks, but it sounds like your doing it for every application. I don't think that's a good idea.
I concur with the last poster. Unless there is a compelling reason (e.g. you have another pending offer), what's the point of hassling the search chair?
Generally speaking, the advice given to job applicants in any field is that it is never a bad idea to politely (and NOT repeatedly) inquire regarding the status of a job search that is taking a long time. There's no way that indicating your interest can hurt--unless the SC chair is a tool and decides to toss your application after being mildly inconvenienced by your request for information. And in that case you probably don't want the job. That said, I've never actually gotten any useful information out of such requests, and the fragile psyche of the anxious applicant can be pushed over the edge trying to read something positive into a 15 word, uninformative email. So I'd say go ahead and send the inquiry just as a reminder that you're really interested in the position, but don't expect to actually find out anything to put your mind at ease.
University - New Mexico State
Any news on the New Mexico State University Ecology position? Have those short-listed received interview requests yet?
I was short-listed but have heard nothing yet. Frustrating!
Ditto. I'm thinking the supposed "short-list" was actually very long.
As indicated above, the short list consisted of 20 individuals.
Time to e-mail the search chair yet? Geez...
As indicated above, the short list consists of AT LEAST 20 individuals. There a 99 "reported" fols on this list, and some job searches reporting 700 applicants. Do the math.
I'm not sure what math you want us to do. I've already indicated that there were 20 applicants short listed (9 of whom belong to this wiki).
Actually there were 46 shortlisted and 4 people have been selected for interviews. Over 220 applied.
What are the sources here? Two confident people with very different information.
My source is a member of the search committee, who told me that 20 were short-listed out of approx 120 applicants. But I defer to the other person who seems to have newer information (I was told there were 20 in late Jan). Have the 4 interviewees been contacted?
I spoke with a member of the search committee the other day (when I posted the above) and they told me 46 were shortlisted, out of > 220 applications. I understood that the 4 interviewees already had been contacted.
NMSU has joined the ranks of the tacky! I just received the AA form, a mere four months after the deadline, and five after I applied. This is actually the very first communication I ever got. My favorite line: "This form has no bearing on the selection process for the position for which you have applied.". Absolutely true, since I've already been rejected! My favorite part - it's a PDF file, so if I wanted to send it, I'd have to pay for it myself (either for the stamp, or to print and scan)!
It would be nice if we could hear from one of the 4 interviewees. Other than the post above, I have not heard any other confirmation that candidates have been invited for interviews. Has anyone else heard anything that would support the information that was provided above regarding 4 interviewees?
I concur. I've tried to contact the search chair and gotten no response. To the person(s) who previously spoke to a committee member, can you get some more detailed information? Why are committee members saying different things? (I.e., 20 vs 46 short-listed)
I received an email request for a campus interview today, after hearing nothing from the search chair since the request for letters and reprints.
Good grief, this wiki is looking nastier every day!
In what sense? Formatting or the tone of comments or the fact that we are all running out of time for this year's search or ....?
If you don't know how to post without butchering the tables, maybe you should go to the discussion tab and post a quesiton with email so someone can walk you through it. I just fixed the major screw up someone did to the table.
University - UC Irvine
Anyone heard anything on the environment institute hires? Been a month since references letters were due.
The wiki still isn't working correctly. Updates are not being shown unless you open the editor and save the page.
University - San Jose State University
To the person who has an interview scheduled: did you have a phone interview beforehand?
No I didn't - I heard from my references that they (SJSU) had called, then got the interview request the following week.
Apologies to the person that posted the Texas Parks & Wildlife herpetologist position but this wiki is for academic jobs. If we start putting in state biologist jobs, this wiki will be overrun. I suggest starting another wiki for state biology positions as an alternative. Let's keep this wiki true to its name - academic jobs.
are we now then going to exclude positions at medical, oceanographic institutes, research centers, and not-for-profits...all of which are occasionally posted? This was not a mere state biologist job. This is a PHD level position of which there are only about 25-30 in the nation. Furthermore, the position is not academic, but does have academic ties in that the former holder was an associate at UT-Austin. Maybe a better approach is to worry about hoards of non-academic jobs being posted when the problem arises...especially considering that over the past decade there has been only an occasional vacancy that is borderline. No issue with me personally, just think that we are getting a little strict about the purpose of the wiki. My impression has been that the academic job wiki is for positions of interest to academics, and usually academic. However, there have been non-academic posts on here before.
Unfortunately, once a precedent is set; it would be very difficult to remove "hoards of non-academic jobs". Many of the Federal GS-12 positions, Nature Conservancy, and industry jobs also require PhDs but it wouldn't be appropriate to include any of them here. I sympathize with your sentiments but the spirit of this wiki is for those choosing academic paths. Here is the official descriptor for the wiki "This is a wiki for tracking searches in various categories for academic (i.e. faculty) positions".
Well, as an FYI to anyone interested, the Herp position is doing phone interviews Mar 24, 30, & 31.
University - Mississippi State
Anybody hear anything from Mississippi State University regarding the Department of Biology positions?
What happened to the Wiki? It seems as if we lost a week's worth of updates (since 2/25), and the table formatting is all off. Anyone know how to fix this?
I sent a message to uberfuzzy, the administrator that changed the scratchpad domain to academicjobs letting him know of the problems.
It seems to partially fix itself if you open one of the editor sessions and save the page (at least then this thread and some of the most recent updates show up)
What the last poster is referring to is the cache'd version. That's a normal issue with the wiki. What's being discussed here is the update that was made to the wiki (i.e. changing the subdomain from scratchpad to academicjobs), whatever routine was run lost all changes from 2/25 to 3/4 (e.g. see University of Vermont - it used to be updated but now reverts back to what it indicated prior to 2/26) and screwed up the table formatting (there's no lines in most of the tables now).
This problem appears to have affected all of the academicjobs pages. Please contact someone at wikia to find out how to fix this bug. Anyone know how?
Okay, report has been submitted and wiki has acknowledged the problem (see very top of page) - I've marked the page with "Report a Problem" so hopefully all of our updates will be updated...
Note that wikia has been criticized for their heavy handed treatment of content and formatting and for pushing advertising onto wiki pages. The move from the old wiki to this one always seemed a little heavy handed and hurried to me. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikia)
I agree - and bad timing - wish they had waited until the job season was over.
All right - we got the table formatting back. Unfortunately, as people add new updates, it makes bringing back the old updates increasingly more difficult. Here's what uberfuzzy (the administrator that originally changed the wiki subdomain) had to say about it: "As for your missing changes, I've imported over the missing revisions. That does not magiclly make them appear into the text since someone has edited the page. They are inserted at the date in the page history when they occurred originally. I have no idea what changes to keep/not keep, someone will have to manually recover the information from the page history that has knowledge of the content of the subject matter." So, I guess we'll have to remember what we edited and manually bring it back. Uggh.
Yeah, how dare wikia have any say over how its website and this free service is run. Who do they think they are? Oh yeah, they're the owners.
They're making money off of the content that we are providing. And in other cases they have been seizing that content from other wiki communities.
University - Arkansas State
HEy, there were only 36 applicants to Arkansas State? Is that right? Or did someone do a typo? That seems way low for a fairly generalized vacancy advertisement.
I was wondering the same thing. Where did this "36" come from? Please enlighten us.
Someone posted that yesterday (2/24) and I queried the person to confirm the # and he/she indicated that the number was correct. We'll have to wait for that person to indicate their source. Pretty good odds if that number stands!
Funding at NSF is at about 4% right now in ecology/evolution. That is hardly a shoe-in. Its a disgrace.
Where did you get that 4% number, not that I doubt you, I just would like to find the reference for at work!
In 2008, NSF funding rates for DEB was 17% and IOS was 16%. I was being facetious with my shoo-in comment.
University - New Mexico and UCI
Any word on New Mexico State U? UC Irvine? Is it safe to assume that these and other 'no news' schools have canceled their searches?
NMSU requested references by 2/6 and UCI by 2/13 - given that only 1-2 weeks have passed, I'd hardly call that 'no news'.
I don't know about these two schools but in general it is in fact getting very late in the job season. Most schools have at least scheduled interviews and many have already made their offers. My guess is that any school that is still "reviewing applications" is probably struggling with budget cuts and has either canceled already or is struggling to keep the search alive.
To infuse a bit of optimism in this rain of pessimism, 20% of the 192 jobs posted here had a 2009 closing date. So, 1 in 5 jobs have only been closed for about a month (on average).
Actually, NMSU requested references in mid-January, but they're probably moving at typical New-Mexican speed, so the month+ that has passed likely means nothing.
Actually, NMSU requested references on 1/23 and the recipients were told to have the PDFs and letters of reference in by 2/6 (so, 19 days has passed since the additional info was due).
I've been thinking lately about all the talent wasted in this type of environment given low funding rates for research and the lack of future opportunities for advancement given the pool of highly educated people spending huge amounts of time competing for such a limited resource. Any one else had enough and have an exit plan?
Even though I finished my dissertation a while ago, this is the first year I've "seriously" gone on the market. Even though I do *NOT* have the strongest CV (I'm trying to do a field switch from my grad school training in anthro and have generally not been a good publisher), I had a first-author pub in Science this year so I thought I would get some interviews -- just one phone interview, then nothing. It does make me think that the market is simply too competitive. I'm thinking that I will, like when one wants to convert to judaism, "ask" 3 times. If by the third serious job search I am still not in a TT job... well, I'll consider the alternatives 2 years from now, I guess. Obama, make me a green job!
I did some number crunching based on the survey results here on the wiki. On average, we're looking at one job landed per roughly 100 applications. That's pretty bad, and seems to be in keeping with the data below ("job market"). And I hate to say it, but Obama notwithstanding my guess is that next year will be at least as bad as this one. I think schools will still be in budget crunches, faculty will still be reluctant to retire, and most people who are hunting this year will be in the hunt again next year. Plus there's no end to the new PhDs graduating and wanting jobs. The problem with an exit plan is that the academic system is extremely bad at communicating alternatives to its trainees--most people come out of grad school thinking that if they can't land a TT faculty position, they've basically failed. So it takes a lot of personal courage and creativity to see oneself doing something else. And for as few jobs as there are in the faculty market, there seem to be even fewer opportunities for PhDs in government or NGO environmental/ecology positions, unless you have a very particular set of skills. Or maybe I'm just not creative enough. But I don't have the stomach for more than one more year of this. After that my exit strategy includes waiting tables.
No way, man, I am in it to win it!
So how bad is the market this year? Here are the rankings based on vacancy deadlines for each month going back to 2000.
Aug had the second lowest
Sept was tied for the second lowest
Oct was the fourth lowest
Nov was a three way tie for second lowest.
Dec was a two-way tie for third most deadlines.
Jan was the lowest on record
Feb was the lowest on record, with half as many (6) as the next lowest year
Mar is currently the lowest on record with 1/3 (3) as many as the next lowest year (11)
Apr is currently the lowest on record with 1/5 (1) as many as the next lowest year (5)
the 2008-2009 academic year is currently the worst job market since 2000 with 155 vacancies, down 31% from the previous average and 18% from the next lowest year. That's bad.
and this does not account for cancellations , right?! CORRECT! ICK!
Why is the 2008-2009 academic year indicated as only 155 vacancies given that this job board alone shows 192 vacancies (not including those vacancies where more than 1 position was advertised)? I wonder if there is some bias associated with the source of the numbers that doesn't accurately reflect the true number of vacancies, making year-to-year comparisons difficult?
Italic textI used only jobs posted on the Ecological Society of America's physiological ecology job list because it is the only one that had archived all the old positions. Although this doesn't encompass all openings, it does give you a good idea of the trends, and it is pretty obvious that the job market is one of the worst in memory.Italic text
Why does it matter. There are no jobs anyway! Jump ship!
Just trying to bring a bit of optimism to all this doom & gloom talk.
University - University of Missouri
I emailed the chair earlier in the week to get an update on my app. for the Eco Mod. position and have not heard back yet. Does anyone else have any information?
University - Wake Forest
Any news on if an offer has been made? I was told a month ago that I'm on their "we'd like to keep your application on file" list, but haven't heard anything since then.
offer was made - no info on if it has been accepted or not
University - University of Missouri
In early Jan. I contacted the Chair about whether the Ecological Modeling search was going to go forward. He said that they would know by mid-Jan. Has anyone heard anything since then? Is it time to bug the Chair again?
University - College of New Jersey
Anyone know the specialty of the organismal biologist they hired? I received an email today that they are opening this up for a second position.
I was told by the search chair back in Nov that they were looking for an animal organismal biologist. I didn't make the cut as a plant biologist, but I did get that same email today. Good luck to us both!
University - UMASS NRC Cons Gen
I'm curious about the source of the info on this one - my letters were requested, but so far I haven't gotten a rejection email. But then again, my email box was full for a tiny window of time this morning (how neurotic is it to even write this!).
Source was inside info, I am not in finalist pool. Not sure if all finalists have been contacted. Then again, if you made the shortlist but not the final list it is likely that a rejection letter won't arrive for a long time. Many schools keep a backup group of people that they can quickly ask if any interviewee drops out. Hold tight and don't show the SC any neuroses.
For the aquatic position, I was contacted last week to let me know I made the list, and then got "official" invitation to interview on 2/17 (after Provost approved funding to interview). Not sure if the Conservation Genetics position has the exact same situation/timeframe.
OK, thanks for letting me know. I confine my public neurosis to anonymous wiki pages :-) . From reading here, the aquatic committee is just a bit ahead of the conservation genetics group.
University - FIU - pop gen
Anyone know the story here? Seems that they have notified at least 1 person about an interview.
As of January 13th no decision had been made. Maybe its time to email Dr. Collins as he is chair of the search committee.
I was one of three people interviewed. The last interview was early in the week of Feb 9-13, and the search committee was supposed to rank candidates and send their choice up the ladder by the end of that week. I haven't heard anything more, so I don't know if the offer has been made to someone else or if it's still going through the university system.
University - Connecticut College
Has anyone heard anything since the person declined the offer in January? I still haven't recieved a rejection letter, and am wondering if anyone has heard anything at all?
University - University of Alaska Southeast
Did anyone else receive the above-mentioned rejection email? I applied and did not receive an email from them. I find it very hard to believe that they have made a hire less than 1 month since the application deadline.
I got an email from UAS requesting letters from my references the same day the above-mentioned rejection was posted. Either an inside hire or some mistake.
It must be a mistake, they are scheduling phone interviews for early March.
University - Portland State
Anyone hear anything post phone interview? I was told they would make a decision on who to invite for campus interviews by the end of last week but I have not heard anything back yet.
To the person who posted above that they got a campus interview - was the invitation by phone or email? When did you get the invitation? Is all hope lost?
I was invited by phone late last Friday (Feb 6th).
All hope was not lost - I got a call last night inviting me to interview. Hmmm, should I read anything into the delayed invitation?
To the above lucky person, did you have a phone interview previously?
Yes, and as far as I can tell my phone interview was on schedule...
I just got an e-mail requesting that I fill out an Affirmative Action form (I did not get a phone interview)! Perhaps PSU should start a trend of attaching an Affirmative Action form to it's rejection letters...
Same here. I have a feeling that some administrative assistant at PSU is in the midst of what will be a long day.
Same here. But mine was addressed to the applicant for the integrative physiologist position. How tacky and unprofessional.
This is starting to annoy me; e.g., UCSD pulled the same thing. Why on earth should we take the time to fill these kinds of things out? If I had an interview, I might feel differently. If they really want a return, the least they could do is send these kinds of forms out BEFORE the interview stage.
Word. For me, the coincidence was beautiful. I picked up my rejection letter in the mail, walked back to my office, and opened the AA email for the Int. Phys. position. Clearly a disconnect between HR and the department in both the UCSD and PSU cases. I find it more amusing than annoying, and I'm willing to give these departments the benefit of the doubt and blame it on HR. You stay classy, Portland. And San Diego.
Both the letter and the email at PSU came from Biology (HR wasn't involved).
Yes, but the departments are likely legally obligated to send these out, and if there's not good communication with HR they may get sent out late. Either party might be guilty.
Add Montana pop gen position to the list. AA request went out in the morning, rejection email later that day. But at least you hear something. There are many positions advertised above that have simply vanished from the face of the earth without a whimper.
I agree that getting the Affirmative Action form post rejection can feel like salt on the wound but I don't think that should keep you from filling it out. The results of the AA forms legally cannot have any influence on the concurrent search process so really is there any reason to send them out before the rejections? The AA forms are intended to help increase diversity in searches/hires in general which is something i think we can all agree is desperately needed in our field.
Actually, I don't give a rats a$$ about helping PSU cover their confused behinds. The problem of lack of diversity in our field will not be helped by filling these lame questionnaires, since their purpose is merely to demonstrate that PSU is not discriminating against women or minorities. In general there seems to be a lot of confusion in the Biol. Department, the conflicting requirements in the ads (LoR's or names and addresses), the AA forms being sent out after rejections, and of course, the fact that at least half of us (including me), were thought to have applied for the Int. Phys. position. I wish the candidates being interviewed all the best, but I hope that these SNAFU's don't presage similar issues with hiring, the salary, and the start up package.
If they pay starting faculty $52-54k, I shudder to think what they pay the department secretarial staff. Sounds to me like they try to run a ship on the cheap and all of this confusion in their hiring likely stems from a case of "you get what you pay for".
University - University of Colorado Denver
Has anyone heard anything regarding this search? I inquired in late January and got not much more than an indication that the search was ongoing. But since then I've heard nothing.
When finished editing you must save the page. I just saved the page and a whole handful of updates came through. Read the instructions folks!
I'm not following your statement. Why would someone else's changes be saved when you saved the page? If they didn't save them, the changes would be lost. The saved changes are tracked by IP address or login id. It sounds to me like you needed to refresh your browser cache. I don't think it has anything to do with other people not saving their changes.
Is it possible that we have reached our memory allocation? Would it help to archive some of the older discussions?
Sometimes Wikia's cached version doesn't show the latest changes. An easy workaround is to save the page without making any changes. You will then see the most recent version.
University - Mississippi State
Anyone hear anything post phone interview?
I would be interested in seeing a tally of how many people from this site applied to each job, made the shortlist, got phone interviews, got campus interviews, and got offers. If nothing else it would give us a better idea of how representative this wiki community is of the general applicant pool. Anybody interested and capable of setting this up?
Perhaps an idea for next year, but I vote to keep the current table as is for this year as it would make the table too big.
Why not a separate table?
better, just put a line in the description area that says: Applicants = 1. the next person who sees it and applied can up the number. This would require no special changing of the current format and make it easier to follow. Same for interviewees, etc. What you think?
I have added a line to each school for people to fill in their participation
While it is clearly still very early, I think it is interesting that New Mexico State is winning the count so far - definitely would not have been my first guess
I think some folks are missing the point of the numbers being provided. The numbers represent the folks on the wiki that have applied, been short-listed, etc. It's not supposed to represent the actual numbers. I propose that if the actual numbers are known that people use the notation, for example, Applied: 4 of 686 so we'll know that 4 wiki participants out of a known total of 686 applied. Likewise, if we know 6 people were short-listed for an interview, it should be indicated as 1 of 6 (indicating that 1 wiki participant is among the 6).
University - Eastern Kentucky
Anyone know what the story is with the hiring freeze? The blog page (see above) indicates a hiring freeze; however, my references have been contacted about the Aq.Invert.Zoo. position (see above). Does this mean that the AIZ position missed the freeze? Or that maybe they are going ahead with the search in case the freeze is lifted?
Hiring freeze notice was from November 2008 and indicated strategic planning. Perhaps they have moved forward.
Sometimes hiring freezes only apply to new faculty lines and not replacement faculty appointments. Maybe this is responsible?
University - Portland State (enviro science)
Anyone know if they are accepting applications electronically?
Edited response: they seem to have changed the ad to indicate that they ARE accepting electronic submissions in pdf format (I assume to the search chair?).
University - Portland State
To those getting phone interviews do you actually do theory and experimentation as the ad seemed to indicate that's what the department was looking for?
University - Endicott College
Has anyone heard from them? Human Resources will not relay any info to the Search Chair, nor will they identify who the SC is. I've had a manuscript accepted, and I can't even relay this info.
I've heard nothing from them.
University - San Jose State University
Anybody heard from them at all? All I know is they got my application, and then... silence.
University - Bryant University
Anybody heard anything? I've e-mailed them and received no response.
Same here. Last I heard was 11/28/08 when I had a paper accepted, and the responded saying " The Search Committee is still reviewing the materials submitted by candidates." No word since.
I wrote to the SC last week and got no response.
If they are indeed interviewing, as indicated by the post in the upper table, then the SC probably belongs to the "if they're not worth interviewing, than they're not worth the time it takes to write an email" school of thought.
FYI, I called the HR department since I had no response from SC to find out if it was still an open search. I was informed by the HR person that she actually met with one of the candidates early that same day. That is all I know. That being said, the SC is just plain rude!
University - University of New Haven
To those who got on-campus interviews -- have you been scheduled yet? I was contacted a week ago about receiving an on-campus interview, but have not heard anything since, and no one has responded to my email. Did the job suddenly get frozen or something?
Do you mind telling us what is your area of Marine Biology/Ecology? I was wondering which direction they went? Needless to say I wasn't invited.
I am a marine ecologist, and I work with a broad array of systems and techniques. By the way, the interviews are delayed as the university re-evaluates searches due to the current economic situation. Seems par for the course this year.
Interviews were finally scheduled, so it looks like the search is proceeding.
University - Portland State
To those getting phone interviews, were you contacted by phone or email?
Thanks. They must have lost my email address.
This sucks. They must have lost mine too. That was my absolute dream job.
Maybe us rejects can have our own club. And it will be cooler and more fun, nyah nyah nyah.
Don't give up hope just yet, the email I recieved regarding missing letters indicated that we had until Jan 30 to complete the application. They still might be going through applications that have just been completed. That or what #3 above said.
As one of the phone interviewees, I am curious to hear why PSU is the dream job for some of you? Besides being in Portland, what makes PSU special?
Let's hope the Ecology position pays more than the Environmental Studies one ($52-$54k seems on the real low end of pay scales - especially for Portland).
It's the third, still no phone interview, I guess I am out, dam! Why is it a dream job? Quality of life is plenty good reason, not to mention what looks like a really great department. The pay is low for PSU, just look at Chronicles of Higher Education, but money ain't everything.
I am pretty certain my application was complete and my inbox does not have invitation for a phone interview??
University - Portland State
To those getting phone interviews, in what sub-field of ecology are you?
conservation biology / community ecology
Wiki - comment from wiki owner
the following comment was on the Discussion tab! It was dated January 7, 2009 Suggestion: As this is a very popular page, you are welcome to move this to it's own wiki rather than sharing space here on Scratchpad. If you would like to do this, please request a wiki at requests.wikia.com or email me (angela at wikia.com) for help. Angela@Wikia (talk) 07:26, 7 January 2009 (UTC)....not sure if anyone saw this, but...
This page is part of the larger AcademicJobSearch set of pages, so is not recommended that we independently move just this page. This set of pages also includes the "universities to like and fear" as well as many other wiki pages for other academic jobs. Perhaps this suggestion should be relayed on one of the main pages?
Wiki - recommendation for next year
put the surveys after the job posts, maybe even after the commenths.
frankly, comments should be on the discussion page accessed by the discussion tab in the upper right hand of this page anyway!
The wiki comments get more responses if they are on the main page, this was a lesson learned from last year.
Not contacted not rejected?
What does it mean if I did not receive an outright rejection, but was not contacted for an interview? Several posts above put me in that category--rejection letters went out, but I did not get one AND they are interviewing, but I have not been contacted. Any ideas?
I am in the same boat for a few positions. I think it means that we are on some kind of "backup" list just in case all of the invited candidates totally suck. But how often does that really happen?
It happens. And not because other candidates suck: just the opposite. People are offered interviews, accept, interview elsewhere, get offered another position, accept that, and turn down other interviews so as not to waste their time.
University - New Mexico State
To those contacted for references and pdfs, in what sub-field of ecology are you?
conservation biology / community ecology
community ecology / aquatic ecology
community ecology/evolutionary ecology
evolutionary ecology/population genetics
Advice - Phone interview advice
Hi everyone. Given that we are now seeing a number of jobs at the phone interview stage i think it would be worthwhile putting a list of common questions that were asked and that you asked, together. So, to start:
what questions were asked?
what questions did you ask?
what questions do you wish you asked?
Were you successful in getting an on campus interview
Why are you applying for this position
tell us about your research
do you prefer large or small classes
what classes would you like to teach
what equipment do you require?
what does your wife do? (this one is illegal, isn't it?)
would you be happy at a school like this?
what facilities do you require?
are you willing to team teach
are you willing to teach online
do you care if our students suck the big one and can't spell their name? (well maybe it wasn't worded quite this way, but this is the spirit of the question!).
Why in the hell would you want to come here? (no kidding)
Name a situation in the past where you have had to resolve a difficult situation or deal with difficult people at work and how you did it? (gives you an indication of what's ahead for you in the department)
What sources of funding do you plan to pursue?
Who would you collaborate with in the department?
How many grad students do you envision having?
How many papers a year do you think it is reasonable to expect a junior faculty member to publish a year?
Would you continue to work at your favorite study area or develop local projects (for field folks)?
How would you make use of our field station?
What do you do with your time besides work?
What would you do if you had unequivocal proof that a freshman cheated on the final exam? What would you do if it was a senior? (apparently they had a cheating problem)
Who would you collaborate with outside of the university?
What types of field work have you done? What are your areas of expertise with regard to field work?
Give an example of specific teaching techniques you use in lecture classes.
Who do you think are the most important up and coming scientists in X subfield of ecology? In general ecology?
Things I asked:
What is your recent history tenuring people?
What kinds of support are provided for new tt faculty?
What is the tenure review process? Are there departmental guidelines for acceptable progression during the tt?
Do faculty in the department work together?
What are the students like?
How is the department involved in the wider community?
How is the institutional animal care and use committee? Obstructionist or helpful?
How did you decide to do a search in this area? Are you replacing someone who left or is this a new position?
Where do faculty currently get most of their support for research grants?
Don't ask things you can find on the departmental website. Do learn a bunch of things about your interviewer(s), the department, and the college (if its a small one) before you get on the phone. Do come up with at least one specific question about something you read online. Do be prepared to speak into the void with little or no back-and-forth from the person or people on the other end of the line--this was harder to do than I thought it would be. I got a campus interview.
Another set of phone interview questions:
What attracted you to this University?
How would you attract students to the department?
Who would you collaborate with in the dept?
What would you want to teach?
Have you had experience teaching non-majors?
How would you fund your research?
How have your past experiences prepared you to be a successful assistant professor? (tough - talk about open-ended! Not sure what they were looking for here...)
Wiki - advertise wiki
Hey folks! based on the above responses I suspect that many of us have either forgotten or there are bunch of folks who don't know about the wiki. We should all spread the word across listservs and with people we know so that there is more activity and better communication! If you post to a listserv, please list it below!
What's the conventional wisdom on contacting a SC with information regarding CV updates? In the past couple of months I've been fortunate enough to get a couple of papers accepted for publication, and another one into the review pipeline. But this isn't reflected on my CV for a number of jobs that I've applied for. I'm thinking it's reasonable to offer this info to SCs, but I wanted to see what others thought. Also, on a related note, assuming it's a good idea to offer such CV updates, when does it become worth it? Does it have to be a major change (e.g. that paper that I submitted to The Best Journal in the World just got accepted for publication), or do even relatively minor changes warrant an update (e.g. manuscripts moving from in prep to in review)?
Papers being accepted for publication is a major enough addition to your CV to contact SCs with updates. A manuscript going out for review isn't enough. At least that is my opinion. This seems to be the advice from the Chron forums.
First, congrats. Second, inform SCs without delay if you had a paper accepted in any journal! I did this several times so far and they are accustomed to it, and usually interested in the news. I suggest an immediate e-mail to someone (e.g., cmte. chair) followed by a hard copy letter with an enclosed one-page "CV update" listing the article and its new status. This way you're sure it has a chance of making it into your file for someone else to see. I've heard that more than one or two "in preps" are pretty much useless so I don't list more than papers truly about to be submitted. Then after a couple get submitted I would send an e-mail about it.
In reference to the announcement that they have selected a short-list of nine candidates, were you contacted by email? I haven't received a rejection letter, nor was I contacted for a phone interview.
I received an email last Friday (1/23). The wording of the email suggested to me that this particular rejection letter was being sent only to individuals who were initially shortlisted. If you received a request for letters earlier, it may be that they simply haven't sent out the invitations for interviews yet, but I would guess it would be very soon.
I actually went back and scanned my in-box and found the rejection letter. I guess I had missed it because it had the same subject heading as the request for demographic info. How about that rejection letter? I really appreciate that they took the time to write such a complimentary rejection, but I'm not sure it made me feel any better.
University- Western kentucky
anyone else heard from WKU?.
I just received a rejection email.
I was one of the people contacted in November but have not heard anything since. Guess I didn't make the cut. Oh well. --and yes, I was the one that posted the number of applicants.
Apparently, only one interviewee on the wiki. Maybe they called a short list in Nov. Were you the one that posted the number of applicants?
so whoever turned it down, why did you do it?
University- Portland State
Letter request referred to above: were you alerted to this via email? I thought reference letters were sent as part of the initial application.
I noticed when I applied for this position that there were slightly different application instructions depending on where you got the announcement. Several announcements that were circulated by listserv suggested that letters were not required up front, but the official announcement posted on PSU's HR site specifically requested three letters be sent to the SC. I'm hoping that the request mentioned above only went out to those who didn't send letters up front because they never saw the HR announcement, and that it doesn't suggest anything about a shortlist being made.
Entire letter: We are in the process of reviewing your application materials for the Ecologist position at Portland State University. We have received your application, but we are missing one or more of your reference letters. Please make sure that all three of your letters are sent to: Dr. Sarah Eppley, Chair, Ecology Search Committee, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 751, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 97207 or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). To assure that you remain in the candidate pool, make sure that your letters arrive by January 30th.
Dang nammit, I thought I was special when I got that message (I was amongst the applicants with the job listing not mentioning letters.) Oh well, guess at least they're keeping organized...
University- U Vermont
Anyone heard anything regarding the Ecosystem Ecologist position?
this just in: "The University of Vermont is currently undergoing financial recession and options are being considered on how to deal with a significant budget shortfall. We are not taking any action at this time, but the search is on hold until February 28th when we expect to have a decision as to whether to proceed or not"
Wiki - Wiki posting
Please be sure to use two digit months when updating the wiki "Most Recent News" date (i.e. January = 01, not 1).
It doesn't matter
Actually it does. If you sort by date and the month is 1 instead of 01, the list does not sort properly. This is why there are detailed instructions that include a two digit month (YYYY-MM-DD)
And it would help if people followed the MM-DD order (not DD-MM as some have used).
University- Boston University
Has anyone heard anything regarding the Marine Biology position?
I emailed the search chair yesterday, and he said that they made decisions on an interview list last week and were in the process of inviting candidates this week. I didn't get an invite, so that's as much as I know.
Rejection emails were sent today, see listing above. 75 applications on shortlist according to the email.
Yeah I thought it said short list too. Seems like a really long shortlist. Did everyone get the same spiel about how excellent your application was, how decisions were made in part on match of research area to department, and how they encourage you to apply for jobs in the future as their marine program grows? At the time it felt like an ego boost to receive such a nice rejection letter. But now I bet all applicants got the same thing.
Yep, I got that spiel too. Guess I can stop feeling good about it now!
I don't see anything suggesting that the 75 applications mentioned were on a shortlist. I believe this was the total number of applications, all of which they considered "highly competitive," and that a standard rejection letter was sent to all applicants that haven't made their interview list (consisting of "several candidates").
I didn't save my email, but it definitely had the word "shortlist" in it.
You may have gotten a different email, but I'm looking at mine now and there is no mention of a shortlist: "Yours was one of over 75 highly competitive applications that were carefully considered by our search committee." It also makes it clear that on-campus interview candidates have been chosen. I don't think there's anything wrong with all candidates getting a nice rejection letter. Better than not hearing anything, which is what I'm getting from most places.
Yes, it is nice. Sometimes the wiki tells you things you don't really want to know though- I might have liked to go on wrongly thinking I was special, but I guess we all have that illusion to start with.
University - University of Minnesota, Plant Bio Dept
Has anyone heard anything past letter requests?
long waits and hiring freezes
Is anyone else confused by the extraordinarily long time being taken by some search committees? University of San Francisco is one good example: application deadline October 15th followed by basically no news for three months now. But there are a number of other schools I've applied to that fit the same pattern. For those of you who have done this before, is this common? I'm concerned that the lack of news is because these departments are struggling to continue searches despite pressure from universities to freeze hiring. I can't think of any other reason for it to take three months to make a first cut. Even schools getting over 500 applicants have managed to move to the interview stage in that time. This whole process really disproves the old adage that "no news is good news."
I have regularly applied since 2003. I have applied to 12 vacancies. Of these, one (south alabama) definitely froze, another (U of New Orleans) appears to be frozen, two filled (U of Wash, Baylor). I got a phone interview with one, and an on campus with another. One of these was originally supposed to start in January but had been temporarily delayed by the economy. Recent news sounds like it might have now been frozen as its in TN where the system gave presidents permission to let people go. One (U of Wisc-oshkosh) didn't call me, but is moving forward. And two have not started reviewing applications yet. I have heard nothing from SFASU (texas), Mich tech.
OUt of 12 applications:
2 frozen (UNO, So. GA)
1 suspected frozen (UALR)
1 possibly suspended (Austin Peay)
1 still moving forward (W KY)
2 filled (but very early in the fall, baylor, U of Wash)
2 still taking applications (names left off for privacy, they are above!)
2 no info (mich tech wildlife)
This is VERY unusual as I recall. Usually, UALR cancels search every year. But, I can never remember this many late searches and canceled searches. And, I kept up with what was open since 1998! If I was scheduled to graduate this year, I would read another book as Matt Groening said in his famous comic "how to succeed in graduate school." (http://eebatou.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/school-is-hell-grad-students-c-1978-matt-groening.pdf). Usually, all at least send diversity statements for HR which I fill out IF they sent me a paid envelope. I have only got HR surveys from half the school to which I applied. That suggests that those six are closed: UNO, SGA, UALR, MT, SFASU. Just my feeling!
Many schools do not send out notices until the search is complete (sometimes, not even then, unfortunately). If no one here is updating the wiki, you really have no way of knowing whether the search is stalled or ongoing but not officially releasing information.
I do think there is something real going on, there is tremendous economic uncertainty at state level and private endowments have been hit just as bad. I agree with everything said above, some positions vanish, never to reappear or to reappear in the next year, and this is an imperfect communication device. My guess is that slow movement may also be indicative of uncertainty as to whether the position actually exists, and interviewing for a postion without firm confirmation is very bad form. Otherwise, there is no reason to move slowly and let good folks get away with offers from other places. Its bad out there, we haven't seen the last of it.
Seems longer than last year...but maybe that's just because I feel I have more at stake this year (post-doc ends soon...). Another possibility--you get put into the "limbo" category. This is where you make the 1st cut, but not the 2nd but they don't tell you until they are positive they don't need you. Your name is on some list to call if they don't like any of the folks they invited for campus interviews or if all their chosen candidates turn them down. I get put into this category sometimes. It's very annoying because you know that some candidates have been flat out turned down and others have been invited, but you have no idea why you have not heard anything.
University- Florida International
Has anyone heard any information regarding the Population Geneticist position?
I got an email on 1/16 inviting me for an on-campus interview. I don't know how many are being invited or if all invitations have been made.
University- U Minnesota
I recieved an email last week for the Ecology position asking for my permission for members of the department to view my application materials. I interpreted this as permission to open up the computer files to everyone in the department who was interested, beyond just the SC. Anyone else get this? It was an unusual request (I voluntarily sent them an application, I expected all applications to be openly reviewed) I haven't heard anything since.
I got this request for the Behavior position. I've not heard from them since.
Advice- Interviewing with morning sickness
Any advice on how to handle morning sickness during a campus interview? Should I warn them in advance that I'm pregnant? Or say nothing and just hope not to spew chunks on the dean?
Shit that sucks. Say nothing. It's not their business. Drink ginger ale and get some crystallized ginger to chew on. Get ginger tea. If it's really bad consider getting an anti-nausea presc. from your doc. If anyone asks you don't drink. Obviously I am paranoid, but I feel as if this is your personal life that is not the business of a potential employer -- since women have been discriminated in the past on this issue I wouldn't chance discussing it. I *do* believe that EEB types are less likely to be asses about it, given my experience being preg in grad school, but I just wouldn't take the chance. Congrats, too -- big year!!
Definitely, don't tell them and certainly not at this stage. It's not paranoia, it's reality. I'd definitely try to get a couple of the anti-nausea pills, there's one that was made for chemo patients that is supposedly very safe but also very expensive, they were a lifesaver for me. Also, plan for a long day - have your high protein snacks on hand. Good luck!
Congratulations! While I agree that there's no need to mention this before or during the interview, there's also no need to be overly concerned. If it's actually bad during the interview (which it might not be that day), just ask to go to the bathroom or even let your interviewer know you're feeling under the weather. That's perfectly normal. I can personally attest to the importance of bringing snacks with you, but you'll have to be creative in finding time to eat them (not that easy). The point is not that you are afraid to tell people or don't want it out in the open, but there's no need to make it an issue when its not obvious. The time for that is after you have an offer and when you're negotiating a delayed start-up date so you can be at home with the baby for a few months. Now, if you were noticeably pregnant it becomes a different ball game-- at which point if they have "issues" with you being pregnant then you probably don't want to be there...
I agree with the previous posters that, for the moment, your pregnancy is none of the search committee's buisness. I have two children, but have been fortunate not to have had any morning sickness, so I can't give any particular advice there. However, at some point (either in the interview and by looking things up on the web) I would try to discreetly "feel out" the department's and university's official (and not-so-official) family-friendly (or not so friendly) policies. You definitely don't want to be in a place that would have a problem with you having a young family. That said, there is more advice about this type of issue on the Science and Families forum. Good luck with your interview!
Does anyone have more info on the three advertised positions? Are they really only interviewing 4 people (2 comp, 2 not) for 3 positions as listed on their website?
Two failed searches last year and loss of a faculty member to me implies that they would be doing a fairly broad search. But, stranger things have happened.
I heard they were only interviewing two people for the comp position, not sure about the others.
I was wondering the same thing, but I just received an email from the chair of the search committee requesting an interview. They'll be running at least 4 more candidates through the month of January.
job stats update- more data
for those who are interested..
Hey, Unknown Data Analyst! Thanks for collating these data and sharing them with us. If you've got spare time, could you do a couple 2D plots for those of us who are 3D-challenged? I'd love to see 2008 compared to the average from previous years. Also, do you subtract off those jobs that have been frozen or closed? — Cynic
How is this?
Awesome, thanks! — Cynic
That's really interesting. Thanks.
Was the rejection letter by email or snail mail?
Addressing the Montana question of 12-14: i agree that my understanding is that 100 have been cut. not sure what their interest is exactly - but i can say that at least four of the individuals remaining after the cut are population geneticists.
Addressing the UCSD question of 12-16: yes, i can confirm that interviews have been scheduled (and two individuals have actually already interviewed).
University - Bryn Mawr
Any news about the position at Bryn Mawr?
Advice - Career Plans? - Will you stay or will you go?
I have a question (purely out of curiosity). How many of you would be willing to accept a position at a place you consider a "step-down" from what you would like in the hopes of gaining experience and making a pre-tenure move? Two of my former advisers did this--they took jobs at smaller, mostly teaching places and then moved to their current positions at an R1 and a respectable state school. Good idea, bad idea? Again, this is out of curiosity, not because I have any choices at the moment (darn!).
"Be careful, it might be a trap!" Make sure you have the financial and temporal resources to stay productive, otherwise you might be stuck for life. You'll be competing against postdocs who have nothing to do but eat, drink, and write papers; meanwhile you're teaching intro bio to 250 undergrads with no TA support. "Yeah he looked good a few years ago, but what's he done lately?" I'm not saying its impossible, but it ain't easy. The cases you cite are an example of survivorship bias: only the few who escaped from Podunk Community College could have served as your advisors, the rest are still grading essay questions. — Cynic
(original poster)--Yes, this seems to be the going dogma. However, at the R1 where I received my PhD, since 2005, they have hired ~6-8 ecology types in various departments. One of my committee members (who was on several of the search committees) told me that the ONLY applications they were willing to look at were those from people CURRENTLY in TT positions. Still a small sample size, but clearly the potential for a trend. He did seem to indicate that it really didn't matter where the TT job was, as long as they were currently in one and had a reasonable record of continued research productivity since their postdoc/PhD. Publication continuity seemed to count as much as publication quality. In any case, I'm just soliciting opinions and in no position to make any decisions (YET). I think one would have to make a personal promise/commitment at when accepting the job that this is going to be a temporary position to obtain some teaching experience (or whatever). Having that mindset would allow for continued productivity because you could keep your "eye on the prize" so to speak. In other words, depending on the place, the trap may be more a definitive mindset/choice rather than completely externally imposed.
University - Arcadia University
Any one hear anything from Arcadia?
University - DePauw University
Any word on what is going on with DePauw's search?
I was wondering about this too.
I've heard nothing. Someone should drop them an email.
University-New Mexico State
The deadline was Nov 15, and I was wondering if anyone has had their references contacted or if anyone has any additional "inside" information... Thanks!
I've heard nothing from this school, and neither have my references. I didn't even get an acknowledgment that they received my application materials. Did anyone else get an acknowledgment?
I'm in the same boat, applied, no word, no acknowledgment...
Glad I'm not alone, I've had no word, and no acknowledgment either (the original poster).
They may be waiting for an exemption from a hiring freeze. Still doesn't explain why they won't acknowledge receipt of application material (I e-mailed to ask). Perhaps nobody wants to look at any of the application materials that arrived to that e-mail address until the situation is clear.
Anybody else get a request for demographic information in an e-mail saying "your application is currently under review"? I thought this was rich, given that my application was clearly weeded out weeks to months ago. Gotta love the HR machine...
Yeah, I had the same thought!
Question -- how exactly do you know the applicants have been narrowed? I do not see interviews scheduled yet on their website. Can we have confirmation from someone invited that yes, in fact the interviews have been scheduled? Thx.
I was wondering the same thing, as I also received the request for demographic info, but there is still no hard info about interviews.
If you will notice, the Santa Barbara interviews were scheduled Dec 09. Made me think the update was a typo under UCSD. However, I am not in the rumor mill for UCSD in any way....
University- U Richmond
Any news? I don't understand the comment above?? They called to set up a phone interview??
University- UW Green Bay
Has anyone heard anything new regarding this position, have they made an offer to the candidate they interviewed?
I just got the letter today saying I was not included in interviews.
I've not heard anything from them. What's up with that?
I also haven't heard anything. Maybe my letter is still in mail. What type of research did the people who got interviews do? I really hope they had extensive Great Lakes experience!!!
one was a fisheries population ecologist
Hi Missoula top 100, good job. Mind telling us your focus? Animal, plant, etc?
I read the email differently. 100 cut, rather than top 100 with letters requested (and thereby emphasizing the awful nature of email). Hoping for the former, sorry. Anyway, plants.
I also got a request for letters and also read the email differently, seemed more like they cut 100 than they cut to 100, but who knows. I have an animal focus, molecular ecology/conservation and landscape genetics/evolutionary genetics.
Speaking as someone that has only published in displinary journals (pertaining to my subfield of ecology), and not (yet) in the Ecology, Ecology Letters, PNAS, American Naturalist, etc. journals of the world, I am wondering if anyone else in a similar situation was successful at getting on a short-list or even (heaven-forbid) a JOB? I realize that this may differ between school-type (I'd never hold my breath for an R1), but with the job market being so competitive, I just wanted to have an idea of what *kind* of publications (not just #) "successful" people (here defined just as getting an interview) have.
Yes. I graduated with none of these, but I got both a prestigious postdoc offer and a tenure-track offer at a small regional state university. Had I taken the postdoc, I'ld probably be in an R1 right now. However, I did have a lot of minor publications (notes), earned a few small grants (<$5000), and had teaching experience as an adjunct. So I had a few cards up my sleeve and a pretty good hand. Now, I have a few good articles in primary organismal journals (example: Journal of Mammalogy), and a good pile of grants acquired as a professor. The major key is sending in a complete application packet with all of the stuff they ask for, and more supporting evidence than they need. Its just another game. So don't lose hope! :)
On the other hand, I have all that and more, and I can't get them to look at me twice - a number of grants, teaching experience, and publications in journals ranging from Ecology and Quarterly Reviews to CJZ. :-( It seems less about your resume than about and how well you match the person that the SC envisions as the "missing piece" in their department. This can also play in your favor - if you are that "missing piece", you could get a job offer over somebody who has a far larger set of achievements.
Dear "on the other hand" from "yes".. :) When you write up your application letter, research statement, and teaching statement each should be tailored for the specific vacancy. You may have a general letter, but change the emphases to fit the position's request. Also, if they specify any qualifications be sure to include how you fit those.
From the original poster, thanks for the encouragement. I do have a couple of prestigous fellowships, a decent number of pubs (7; 5 as first author), but I just don't seem to be competitive yet. No one has even contacted my refs! I have spent hours tailoring my applications to each position. Perhaps it is the type of position that I am applying to-- I don't appear to be "general" enough to apply for those jobs looking for "an Ecologist", and the number of jobs in my sub-discipline is small or in a place with no opportunities for my non-academic partner. I have a few more general papers that should come out within this year, so hopefully I can focus on making next year the winning year (despite the recession)!
I was (and to a degree still am) in the same boat as the original poster. I had 6 campus/10 phone interviews last year and 1 offer (which I turned down--hind sight is 20/20!), ranging from prestigious SLACs to R1s and everything in between. In my case, I think a lot of it is fit. Senior faculty on searches say that THE #1 most important document is the cover letter--that gets you from the "round file" to a phone interview if you address what they need. Now that I have a "base formula letter" for a variety of schools, I spend anywhere from 2-5 hours researching and modifying the "base" to fit the school. It's time consuming, annoying, draining, and frustrating--but keep at it. My whole academic career, everyone of my mentors has said that landing a job is 90% perseverance, 10% chance. And, keep submitting to good general discipline journals--even if (when) they reject you, I often find that the comments of the reviewers are really helpful for the next revision and make acceptance at the next journal a little more likely.
"Email vs. phone"
Just a silly observation from one who's been on the job search scene a while, but what is up with emailed invitations to interview? I've had 3 invites (luckily) so far and all 3 were via email. One didn't even say 'dear so-and-so', it was just like 'we would like you to come interview'. In previous years I've only ever gotten invites through a call from someone on the search committee. Anyway, it just makes for kind of a weird and sterile first impression.
I've had an invite last year and one so far this year (luckily). Both were by email, and the only time I ever talked with anyone on the phone was during a phone interview. I completely agree that being informed of everything by email is both sterile and impersonal.
I don't care if good news comes by phone, email, or carrier pigeon! — Cynic
Agreed. First contact is really just to assess whether you're interested or not -- I'm going to decide if the dept is impersonal upon meeting them!
Any word post phone interviews?
Wiki - Date of most recent news
When you add information to a listing, please remember to update the "date of most recent news" column. With so many positions listed, the easiest way to find new information is to sort by the date of most recent new column, but that only works if the date has been updated.
Campus Interviews-What to wear?
I'm curious about what ecologist men wear to campus interviews. Full on suit? Jacket + tie? I have been wearing very nice tie, shirt, pants, shoes combo (sans jacket). I don't currently own a suit. I am a warm person so if I wear a jacket, I just end up taking it off and carrying it around. Suits and jackets also tend to exacerbate my nervous sweating. I've always felt like I was dressed appropriately and never felt "under-dressed" at any of my interviews. I am thinking of purchasing a suit for this round of interviews. Thoughts anyone?
I'd suggest that you be yourself and wear something you are comfortable in. Your choice of trying to look nice might be outweighed by your clear uncomfort in a suit. People might remember you more for that than if you skipped the suit. I've worn a tie before and been teased a bit so I stopped with that.|-
Really you were teased for wearing a tie? Why? Too formal or too informal? I should re-think my attire if a tie is too formal (see above). I agree about wearing what is comfortable, which is why I have--at least to this point--skipped the suit. The male candidates in Biology (not in Ecology) that have interviewed at my current school have a range of fashions from full suit to shirt with tie to jacket without a tie (which I think is a little tacky). But frankly I when I go to their talks, I concentrate on the science not on what they are wearing. Beyond "looking like a candidate" (i.e., not a slob) it probably matters little.
I think people giggle at an ecologist in a suit, but then if it's a Biology Department the skin-in people might think that a suit is appropriate. I use to interview without a tie and then I kicked it up to jacket without a tie (which I don't think is tacky, but what do I know I'm an ecologist).
It was good natured teasing and I don't think it made a lick of difference. Ask the SC, see what they think. You wouldn't be the first.
I always found it bizarre that a person interviewing for a job in ecology is typically the best dressed person in the room. Not to mention the fact that professional dress for most ecologists almost never involves a jacket and tie, let alone a suit. I knew a guy who swore by wearing a suit to all ecology interviews, but I think that's because it made him feel good about himself. If you feel like an idiot in a suit, the only chance you'll have of not LOOKING like an idiot in a suit is if everyone else is wearing them. Which will almost certainly NOT be the case at your interview.
I have worn a suit to past interviews, and I've never felt like anyone had a problem with that, even if nobody else in the room was wearing one. I've always figured it can't hurt to over-dress, but it sure could hurt (even though it shouldn't) if you under-dress.
We had a large search at my near-Ivy University last year and I thought that men who didn't wear a jacket and tie looked stuck-up and cocky. I think that overdressing is a sign of humility and respect. One big guy (Chris Farley-ish) even wore a pinstriped suit with a vest, and he came off really well during his talk. Other than for reducing any strong true possibility of having a negative physiological response (e.g., passing out), I think it would be foolish not to wear different snappy but casual suits each day of your interview. In fact, if you're the kind of guy who is questioning whether he needs to wear a suit to an interview, you're probably the kind of guy who really needs to wear a suit to an interview. I don't buy this nonsense about feeling comfortable being important. Having just had a campus interview, once I was looking someone in the face, my clothes were the last thing on my mind (although I was uncomfortable when I had brainspace to consider it). You know what's uncomfortable? Unemployment. Suit up, gentlemen.
A common rule of thumb for interview attire (any interview, not just in ecology) is to dress one formal step up from what you would be typically wearing on the job. So if you're interviewing for a job in an office where a jacket and tie is the norm, a suit is a must in an interview. But for an ecology position for which even a jacket and tie would be unlikely in almost any professional setting (classroom, committee meetings, even giving talks at conferences), a suit is definitely not necessary. Of course, another rule of thumb is that you can never overdress. If you feel good in a suit, go for it. But it's not necessary.
For those that did get invited for the interviews--Do you have a marine focus, as they said they might prefer?
Anyone know how many interviews were scheduled?
Any word post phone interviews?
I had a phone interview and I received a rejection email 16 Dec.
University-E Connecticut State
The department chair told me last week that they were not going to look at applications until January. Does anyone know how they are doing interviews if they are still looking over applications?
University-University of Montana
Evolutionary genetics position--Has anyone received any sort of acknowledgement of application receipt? I even wrote to double check that they received my application, but have not heard back. Just want to make sure that others are in the same boat and that my application didn't end up lost in cyberspace.
I also applied. No confirmation has been received regarding my submission.
Same here. Applied, heard nothing....
I updated the deadlines per month.
During my last interview, I found out about an internal candidate who interviewed for the same position while talking with the students at University X over lunch. So far I'm 2/2 (An internal candidate for both jobs I have interviewed for). I know it will be a while before I hear back (they are still interviewing candidates), but I was wondering how common this is for people that have interviewed this year? Its difficult to learn about this, especially after all the time lost preparing for each interview.
Has anyone else encountered this? Any thoughts?
having been both the inside candidate once and the outside candidate many times, and seen a lot of inside candidates, consider this. If you are the best candidate, and the department is willing to hire a less qualified candidate, do you really want to work there? Not me. When I was the insider, I was the best one that was interviewed, but I obviously don't know what the applicant pool looked like. We all have to eat, so get what you can get any way you can, but, better to land in a good place than to land among a bunch of folks whose academic priorities mixed up!
this also got a lot of discussion last year. It stinks, but worse things can happen. Like never going on an interview. Hang in there.
Unfortunately, I have encountered this in a very, very depressing way. Last year I interviewed at "Prestigious SLAC Y" in a very small town. The internal candidate's spouse had a TT appt in another department and the internal candidate already had a TT appt at another SLAC in the same small town--so this was not an issue of spousal parity. Internal candidate wanted to move to this new position. I found out after my campus interview that the search committee agreed that I was THE best Teacher AND Researcher--but they chose the internal anyway. Why? Because if they had hired anyone else, the newbie would have walked into a snake pit. Apparently, the internal had so many friends inside the dept and the college, that it would have angered everyone if they did not hire the internal guy. This was really depressing because it would have been a great place for me. But even as I interviewed, I could feel the tension with some folks, just below the surface, nothing to complain about, just a real sense of people trying to protect something. I think the committee members were really upset and wanted to choose me, but they were hog-tied by "public opinion". One of the committee members reportedly said something to the effect of 'If we were going to hire [internal candidate] from the get go, why did we even bother with the search?'. So, it happens. All I can say is that it was still a really good interview, I got to meet some good people and see what a good SLAC might be like. A friend who filled me in on this search and others at this SLAC told me that EVERY search develops favorites/issues early in the process and that there is no such thing as a fair search. They are all biased in one way or another. Live with it and keep applying!
I agree that competing with an inside candidate is better than not interviewing at all. Interviewing takes practice, and more is better. On the other hand, if you feel you have enough interview experience, you can always ask when invited for a campus visit if they have an inside candidate. It's a legitimate question.
Maybe I missed something here, but I was under the impression that the Job Table was for updates and the Discussion Table was for discussions? Why are updates being posted in the discussion section (see below)? This has the potential to degenerate and undermine the nice organization of this page.
Good point. For example, I can't find the Ohio University position discussed below, above. C'mon people, get with the program.
I agree that there were several recent posts I didn't think fit the Discussion table and made this site less organized. I now have the feeling that in order to make sure I haven't missed an update on a search, I must read the Jobs table and the Discussion table. Unfortunately, posting update questions in the Discussion table was rewarded because the queries got a lot of replies because people weren't posting updates in the Job Table, even though they had info other people wanted. C'mon people, get with the program.
Guilty, although gossip and third hand info probably belongs here and should be flagged as such. Where *is* that program.
University - McDaniel College
I see that they are still scheduling interviews for the Invert Biologist this week. Has any one received a rejection letter yet?
University - Ohio University
Notified via email that the evolution search has been suspended (along with all other faculty searches at OU. Apparently there is a "remote" possibility that the search will be resumed in the near future.
University - U Pittsburgh
Anybody hear anything about the Ecology/Evolution search?
apparently had 250 applicants, have winnowed it down to 50 or so. A long short list if you will.
have all the 50 applicants on the long short list received a notice? Not even being on a 50 or so short list is depressing.
while anything is possible, given my experience on a search committee, I don't think notifying 50 people is very likely to have happened.
University - U Minnesota
Just learned from SC chair that "searches are "paused" but our department head has asked permission to continue the search. We expect to hear within a few weeks, and in the meantime, the search is still open."
I'm assuming this is U. wide? there is also an advertised position in plant bio and I was told they were in a "grey area" with regards to a freeze.
The ecology and behavior searches are now unpaused and back to active status.
University - UW-Green Bay
Anyone hear anything from UW-Green Bay since they contacted references?
As of 2008-11-24, the Search Committee was still reviewing candidate files.
Advice - Spousal Hires
When is the best time to bring up a spousal hire issue? I've always been told not to mention it until you have the job offer in hand. Otherwise faculty may discriminate against candidates with spousal issues (and I've heard cases of this sort of discrimination occuring at top schools).
However, I was recently skimming the discussion boards on chronicle.com and there were several comments from search chairs at smaller schools indicating that they needed time to coordinate a spousal hire and waiting for the job offer may be too late. Is it possible that keeping mum on spousal issues is only useful at top tier research instuitions (with formal spousal hire progams in place) and that you may have a better chance of coordinating a spousal positions at smaller places if you let them know sooner?
This topic got lots of discussion last year. Check out the archived discussions under "Advice - dual-career searches". Good luck! — Cynic
University-Wake Forest University
Any status updates for the ecology search?
I emailed the chair on 2008-11-25 and was told I did not make the short list of 6 for phone and campus interviews. If you haven't heard yet, it probably means you are in the same boat...
University'- University of Richmond
Anybody hear about the status of the field evolutionary ecologist search?
Last I heard was 2008-11-18: "I am writing to thank you for applying for the Field Evolutionary Ecologist position at the University of Richmond. As soon as possible after we begin the review process, we will contact you concerning your candidacy."
University- Lake Forest
For the applicants that are having campus interviews scheduled - what kind of ecologist are you?
2008-12-02: community/aquatic ecology
University- NC State
For the applicants that had rec letters requested - what sub discipline of ecology do you do?
In general it might be useful if we created some sort of anonymous user profiles that we could link to interviews/rejections/offers etc so that we can all get a better sense of what the schools are looking for and why we are or are not doing well on the market.
Yes, I second that and thank the person for the above response, very helpful.
Plant ecology/molecular ecology
Tropical plant community ecology
Global change/spatial ecology
Landscape, restoration, plant ecology
TA vs. "Teaching"
How useless are TA-ships (even intense/involved ones) as evidence of teaching experience when applying to schools that care about teaching? Is anybody with only TA-ships making the first cut at places like this?
TAships don't 'count' as teaching to search committees, but it needs to be reported on your cv as experience, typically just listed in work experience like an RA or summer intern or whatever
I only have TA experience but I had a campus interview last year at a relatively prestigious SLAC. So, it must count for something. BTW- job went to internal candidate.
I also had an interview last year at a SLAC with only TA experience. The deciding factor in selecting the candidate was topic of research, rather than teaching.
I've had two interviews, one offer, at liberal arts schools with "only" TA experience. I got a good piece of advice before writing my teaching statement this year to discuss my responsibilities as a TA instead of simply stating that I've been a TA. TAships are very different at different schools. If you were helping develop, for example, lab curriculum as part of your TAship, state that. If you prepared short lectures, etc., state that. While interviewing for the position I accepted, I was actually told that I had a lot of teaching experience, which surprised me, since I've never taught my own course. However, my teaching statement indicated that I'd TA'd for most of my graduate career and that my teaching style accommodated the type of class I was teaching.
When were the rejection letters sent out? Did they mention that a short list had been made, or anything else? I still have not been contacted in any way, so I'll keep my fingers crossed while I continue to wait.
Here is the entire email: The BIO department has completed its analysis of the over 50 applications for our current tenure-track position. While there were many very good applications, yours included, we tried to match the department's long term goals and short term needs for teaching, with the application materials. Unfortunately, your application was not selected for our short list.I wish you luck in your continuing search for a faculty position. -- Looks like you made the shortlist. Good luck.
I just got rejection email today. Either the short list got shorter, or they sent out the e-mails in batches. Oh well, it was nice thinking I made the short list for a short time. Thanks for answering my question.
Regarding the 11-8-08 posting: have all candidates for interview been contacted and when are the interviews going to begin?
They accepted my application on the 13th and did not mention anything about it in their response (they also wrote that all my materials downloaded and opened without difficulty - which I found very nice of them)
Interviews are scheduled for late January. My guess is that they are still fleshing out the list, but jumped on some of the early applications.
Foreign travel expenses
I live outside the US, but I'm an American and I'm looking to return. Any opinion out there on the extent to which search committees may or may not consider travel expenses from Europe when deciding who to interview? Seems like a petty thing, but I'm curious if it matters.
Any university that blanches at flying a top candidate in from Europe isn't worth working for. Who would want to save an extra $500 and not hire the best candidate, when they will spend close to a million $ for startup and salary as assistant profs? — Cynic
Tell that to the administrators who control the budgets. I think it would be worth saying in your cover letter something about helping to defray the costs (unless you're not worried about getting offers).
I stand by my previous statement that if a university thinks $500 extra is too much to pay to get the best candidate, they're not playing in the major leagues. I've been on search committees and had multiple trans-Atlantic interviews myself. No one will think twice about it unless it's Podunk Community College we're talking about here. — Cynic
Thanks, I figured it might matter very little. I can now move on to worrying about whether the font on my CV is appropriate. Not much to do when you are waiting but worry about dumb things.
I have asked faculty (one SLAC, one big research U) the same question, since I was overseas last year - they said absolutely it CAN make a difference, though did not admit to seeing it happen on a search they were involved in.
I don't see why it wouldn't make a difference, except at the richest schools. The budget for the search itself is different from the budget for startup, so one might not necessarily correlate with the other. I agree that it's a good idea to offer to help defray the costs of your travel. If they have the money, they can always decline your offer and pay it all.
The original poster here...its interesting to hear the responses on something I've wondered about, the take home message is that it depends on the school. For the record, I've been flown to over 5 interviews from outside the US, not always at "rich" schools, but mostly state or private research schools (I have applied to some SLACs, but not many). Thanks for the suggestions, I've included a statement in the past to the effect that I'd help defer costs or that I'd be in the US over certain dates, but at this point there is no way I'm volunteering to pay for even part of interview travel expenses. I have a hard enough time getting reimbursed for costs when I front them the airfare (DON'T DO IT IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO!). Thanks agian, Cheers.
Advice - keep at it
I was in the job market last year and spent A LOT of time on this wiki. Probably way too much, but it was helpful to get some information on schools that never got back to me (more than half) and to be able to chat with others in the same situation. I ended up getting a position that I am really happy with after two years of really being on the job market and well over 40 applications. What I learned from the process was the need to just keep applying and not get discouraged, but also to make the job search as minor a part of your daily life as possible, because it will drive you nuts and distract you from work that will make you more competitve next year if things don't go well this year. The process sucks and can be really dicouraging, but if you keep kicking the can it can work out for you. I still like to check on the wiki from time to time but I also started a blog about life as a new faculty member. If you think the job market is crazy, wait until you are standing in an empty lab at the begining of a semester wondering how you are going to do everything that needs to get done in the next 4 months. In any case, check out the mindless rantings of someone working their way through their first semester if you want (http://proflikesubstance.blogspot.com/).
PDF v. Paper Apps.
I have seen a variety of job ads regarding the "form" of the application. Some explicitly state what they want: electronic PDF, no electronic apps accepted, either, etc. However, I'd like to hear your thoughts on those job ads that DO NOT specify and only give a mailing address. In some cases, I have submitted a electronic PDF anyway (a little internet sleuthing for the secretaries email). A good or bad idea? Any thoughts?
Bad idea. If they only gave a mailing address you should send it to the mailing address. They may just toss pdfs if they didn't ask for them. Search committees are already flooded with applications and looking to eliminate some of them. People who don't follow instructions might be the first cut. Remember it's only been the last 3 or 4 years that some places have asked for pdfs and members of the search committee may have not done a search for longer than that.
Follow their directions but then send an electronic application as well even if not requested. Even if they delete the electronic application you are still good to go.
Last Years No Hire?
Looking back at last year's wiki, there are a number of jobs that were posted and it appears as if at least some of the process was completed (e.g., references requested, phone interviews, campus interviews) but then--nothing. No hire? No news? What gives? Just curious about the process. Possibly some of these searches loose funding in the middle of a search? Or the dept. is so dysfunctional that they can't agree on what they want? Any ideas?
People get offers and maybe accept them, but don't post that information because 1) they don't really need the wiki anymore and/or 2) anonymity is reduced. A bunch people know who is getting an interview, but very few know who is getting an offer. And frankly when you get that offer you don't want to do anything that you think might cost you the offer (like posting on the wiki). So, a bunch of those jobs from last year were probably filled.
University - UNC Asheville
Can someone answer the question about phone interviews? I am/was fairly invested in this school. Just an explanation would be cool.
I have not heard back from them. The cold reality is that if they started phone interviews at least a week ago and you have not been contacted, you probably won't be. What can you do? Keep publishing, keep teaching, and keep applying...
My guess is many people were invested in this school Asheville is a desirable place to live. I'm out here in the cold with ya.
I heard that they got 240 applications - lots of cold to go around.
University - University of Washington
Has anyone been contacted for phone or on-site interviews? My letters were requested some time back and I haven't heard anything (and haven't seen any updates on their page).
My letters were requested but I have not heard any more from them. I wrote to an inside contact requesting an update but no reply...
I spoke with contacts at UW before applying and they told em that they were really focused on cellular developmental people this year (what are they thinking?). I applied anyways with the secret hope that after being wowed by my cv (jk) they would go ahead and decide to do an extra hire. But given that most schools are canceling searches I don't think that is very likely. This is all to say that we should be happy that they are even considering our applications but we should not get our hopes up.
U Hawaii, Stony Brook and U South Alabama have all canceled their searches due to the economic crisis. Have more schools canceled that we just don´t know about? Will more schools cancel?
I think that the economic crisis will have a somewhat long lasting effect for a few years as professors who may have been on the fence about retiring see their retirement accounts depressed and postpone it. However, its my recollection that people tend to retrain during bad times as well, increasing the need for professors. Who knows? My guess is that this will become a common refrain during this year and that we'll see fewer ads in the future. I really hope I'm wrong.
Just heard that Cal State U Stanislaus has canceled their search for a marine biologist due to frozen funds, but since that job is not listed above, I'm guessing that no one here is interested in that one....but, of note, they did not post the cancellation. I found out when I called the search chair for a different reason entirely.
The entire Cal State System is now under a hiring freeze.
I just received a request from San Francisco State to fill out and return an "equal employment" form. Would they be doing this despite a hiring freeze? Maybe some hires are going forward despite the freeze? Don't know if I should still hold out hope for this position, or put another check in the loss column.
I have had several schools write me saying that they are missing one or multiple rec letters. This is despite the fact that I always ask an extra referee to send a letter just to cover my bases. When I complained to one of my letter writers he showed me the email he sent to the school with the rec letter attached so it appears that in some cases the fault lies with the school and not the letter writer. How many schools have lost letters resulting in dismissed application that aren't aware of? I am extremely grateful that some school do let candidates know when they are missing letters but I am sure that some school just out the incomplete applications.
In my experience, if the search committee likes your file, they will let you know about the missing letter(s). No one wants to let a good candidate slip away just because someone flaked out with a letter.
I was so relieved to read this comment b/c I too have been having a lot of problems with missing letters this year, which I did not have last year. I have been calling all of the schools and asking the secretary to check to see if my application is complete before the deadline. I thought this was a fool-proof strategy until one school told me it was complete and then 2 weeks later the search chair wrote to say that I was missing a letter - even though just 2 weeks before they'd had all 3 letters!
My postdoc advisor says that when they do a faculty search at our university, they never toss an application because it is missing a letter. Even after alerting an applicant, they'll wait a long time (weeks) to receive a missing letter before it becomes a problem.
I'll agree with the above posters, they will get after you if they are interested and realize that it isn't necessarily your fault. I've even had interviews at places where my phd advisor had not sent in his letter, which you think they would want, given the fact the guy is a big deal. Basically, if it looks like you fit based upon your CV and application, my guess is they will get after you. If not, the fact that you don't have letters or submit them via pdf or whatever matters very little.
Despite the economy, it looks like there was some recovery following the election.
University - Emory
Has anyone not heard from them? I'm thinking that they must have a second tier of potential applications, I haven't received the email rejection nor been notified about any cuts.
I submitted my app on the due date (31st), received a confirmation email from them, and have heard nothing since. hmm.
University - University of California, Davis
How is it that someone has had their letters requested a month before the deadline? Is the deadline incorrect, did you just submit way ahead of time...?
I believe the request for references is automatic, once you submit your application online.
University - University of North Carolina Asheville
Does anyone know whether the short list for UNC Asheville has been finalized? Are the phone interviews the first cut?
University - Tulane
Does anyone know if the interview invites at Tulane were just for the computational position or have interview requests gone out for all 3 positions?
Wiki - Book keeping
Remember to update the 'Date of most recent news' when updating the Wiki.
Does anyone know when the application review actually begins? There was not a specific deadline indicated in the job ad.
Looks like the search is canceled, they've taken the job ad off the department website
2008-11-24 The conservation biology ad is back up on the department website; wonder if that means they are going ahead with the search?
University - U. Wisconsin-Green Bay
I thought that letters of rec were due with the application, were they contacting references for additional information?
I guess that they were following-up on the letters as I did send letters with the app. However, I suspect they are very disorganized as one of my letters had to be resent, even though my recommender had sent it. In addition, the GOSSIP is that this is a dysfunctional dept.
This is fairly common. It tends to happen quite a bit. They called references of applicants they were interested in to discuss the letters that were sent and the applicant's qualifications with the references. It gives the department extra screening time and additional information prior to either phone or in-person interviews.
University - UC San Diego
Has anyone heard even a confirmation of receipt of applications?
Nope. In fact of 10 jobs I have applied to I have only received two receipts of application. I contacted a friend at UC San Diego and he told me that although he had no specifics, they received around 300 applications.
I have not heard a word from UCSD either.
I'll third that. I wouldn't necessarily expect to hear from a powerful program at a big uni unless it's for an interview.
Heck, I didn't hear anything from two schools at which I *interviewed* for months until I repeatedly asked for information. Even worse I was asked for a startup estimate at one, and after I asked a few questions and voiced some hesitation about a particularly nasty interaction with someone, I never heard from them again. Ever. Being in the dark is the norm, which is why a wiki like this is such a useful tool. I do think the overall lack of information to candidates is inexcusable. We have the internets now. I could go on. Isn't there a rant page somewhere?
There is a rant page associated with this wiki here, and also a page to complain about a specific school here.
You may also want to look at the main academic search page here
They just posted a number of new seminars on their website, I wonder if any of these are job talks link...
I've heard through a reliable grapevine that they have invited interviews (I myself did not hear anything, so I didn't post this above with the school info, since it is just gossip)
I've heard nothing from them.
email of application reciept, affirmative action request, and applications still under review. This kind of info is not usually worthy of an update, but given above comments, thought I'd post it here. Wonder if they are late getting this out, given they may have scheduled interviews already?
University - Univ Montana
Does anyone know if the search for an aquatic ecologist (2009) at UMontana (Missoula) is because last year's search for an aquatic invert ecologist (on the Wiki's archive) was a failed search?
I was wondering this too. The same person is running the search. I had a phone interview with them last year, but then never heard back. Did they run campus interviews last year?
I don't know, I didn't apply last year... Anyone else have any info?
I emailed the chair. It is a re-advertisement because the person hired last year ended up with a better offer. The ad is re-written to be broader and focus more on restoration in stream systems.
Advice - Contacting Search Chair
So its been a while since I was notified I made the fist cut by the search chair. Since then, one of my manuscripts that had been submitted was accepted for publication. I was wondering should I use this as an avenue to open the dialogue with the search chair again, silently hoping that he/she will give me an update where I stand in the search? Does anyone have any advice or suggestions, or should I just hold tight? Thanks.
I've heard it is legitimate to do so.
More generally, how long after a closing date should one wait to contact a search chair if you have hear nothin. Is a month too soon?
I don't think that is too soon, and you should definitely let them know it has been accepted.."just wondering where you are in the search and if I can't provide any more information to help in the decision." I think showing the chair you are interested never hurts and could help in the process. It's perfectly legitimate.
University - Baylor University
Any new news on Environmental Science position at Baylor?
I have not heard anything either.
University - Rider University
Its been a month since the short list was made and I was wondering if anyone else has heard from Rider University since? Two of us checking the Wiki have made the first cut, so I figured I would ask.
I also received that initial email over a month ago about making the first cut, but have not heard anything since. Maybe worth an email to the chair?
University - University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW)
Was the rejection letter sent by email or snail mail?
Rejection letter by email 10-28-08
Wiki - Laziness
So we know everyone visiting this site is intelligent as we all have PhDs here or are close to finishing, I hope that people can follow the directions and at least put the entries in alphabetical order please!!
Talk about laziness, can't you click the sort button for the "University" column?
When people want to add updates, it is a pain to find the correct school if they are not in alphabetical order and this will just lead to more confusion as we add more universities. So no, I'm not lazy. It would just be nice to reduce the need to constantly tidy the wiki. This request isn't much different than asking people to pick up after themselves rather than expecting others to do it for them.
Furthermore, the anchors at the top of the screen that let you skip to "schools that start with the letter ..." do not work correctly if the entries are not alphabetical.
I stand corrected. Apologies.
Advice - General Hiring
My husband has a Tenure Track position and I am currently hired for temp-teaching but the university is potentially offering me a "soft money" full research assistant professor position. Any feedback on accepting soft money jobs??
Soft-money positions can be good or bad, depending on your temperament and ability to bring in grant money. Some things to think about: Will the University provide you with the resources you need to be successful (a lab/office/phone, a good office of sponsored projects, access to internal funding, graduate students)? Are you good at writing grants? Will the U. cover your salary when you're between grants (through teaching or research money)? Are there successful colleagues with which you can collaborate to improve your chances of getting funding? Is there any potential for this to turn into a tenure-track position eventually? What other options do you have (continuing teaching, applying elsewhere and living apart from your husband for a while, both of you applying elsewhere and hoping for two positions)? Do you want to stay in research or would a permanent teaching gig suit you? These are all things to think about. (I, BTW, did a research assistant professor position for 4 years and am now in a TT position at a different institution. My husband was able to transfer to my new location, so it can work out.) Good luck!
NSF just issued new guidelines with regards to supporting salaries of postdocs and researchers on soft money (including summer salary). It is pretty harsh, I think only 2 months of support. However, you might want to check up to make sure. It was discussed on Ecolog the past month or so.
I did notice that EcoLog chitter about the NSF soft money regs... it is what instigated this question (somewhat). Any idea of any major grants that do actually suppport $$ for salaries to the extent that NSF does (did)?
I heard that the NSF's 2 month restriction only applies to people with academic year positions, not those with soft money positions. Could the original questioner or someone ask an NSF program director for clarification and report back?
From the original poster: I called NSF and talked to their policy office (and in fact, a "policy specialist") and she confirmed what the most recent poster said. She told me that in fact > 2 months is allowed (esp for soft- money position) as long as it is JUSTIFIED in the NSF grants. She did suggest calling the Program Officer for the grant you are interested in applying for to determine their suggestions on reimbursement and how many months would be too many to ask for etc. Anybody else out there have any suggestions about these soft money jobs? Also this is the website for the new NSF guidelines: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf09_1/gpg_2.jsp#IIC2gi
University - Tulane
Were the requested letters for a particular position?
Yes, the computational ecology/evolution position. I don't know about the other positions. Thanks for asking that question, and sorry I forgot to specify (I have added this info to the table now as well).
I think I applied for the regular ecology position and they also requested letters around the same time.
Wiki - Survey
Are we planning on doing a survey similar to the one that was posted last year? That would give us an idea of how much this site is being used this year vs. last year.
Surveys from last year are now added, but someone might want to see what additional questions were asked on the surveymonkey page and add them here.
Why do so many people keep posting jobs after their deadlines? It hasn't hurt me at all b/c I'm not interested in the jobs that I see people doing this with, but it doesn't seem too helpful for those who may be interested in those jobs. Do people do this so that they can find out about how the search is going, but are too worried about competition to post the ad early enough so that other people who may also be interested could also apply? Last year I felt like this wiki was more of a helpful community and now I feel like it's devolved into something else. Or maybe I'm interpreting these belated posting dates incorrectly?
I'm not too interested in speculating on the motives of people at this site. However here are two important points to keep in mind: a) this site was NEVER designed to be the primary clearinghouse for job ads. Rather, the point is to update on the searches. Therefore, if people have not seen the job ads prior to posting on this site, then they are not that interested in finding a job. b) It never hurts to send in a late application. The worst they can do is throw it out. Everything I've heard suggests that if the search isn't too far along (say less than 2 weeks past the deadline? I'm guessing) they are likely to add you to the pile.
So what is up out there????
I have not seen many real changes up above, how many of us are on here this time? Or, is it just that all of these positions are stalled?
Any news yet????? :)
Where are all the listings? Is it too early to be concerned?
It might be a tough year with the economy already impacting state budgets for new public university hires.
I think this reflects that users aren't yet posting or applying more than that positions aren't opening. There are several ads up at 4 year schools right now. However, there are usually more openings at the BIg schools already posted. They are probably slow this year, but it will pick up. This is not the slowest I've seen by any means! the fall after Katrina had lots of openings that all closed like a house of cards. Now that was a lousy job market! Don't fret!
A bunch came out in Science this week. I think some schools are financially strapped (Cal States for example), but others, especially private schools are doing okay. This year so far actually seems better than last year to me.
I am still not seeing much out there....I often hear about how difficult the market was in the late 80-s early 90-s. Is it possible that we are going into an era of a saturated market again? My school just had 4 faculty leave (retirement and no tenure)....none are being replaced.
Here are the stats so far this year (10-19-2008). I used deadlines rather than post dates to tally these. So for example, in October of 2005 there were around 40 deadlines while in October 2008 there were only around 20 deadlines. if a position did not have a deadline, I used its post date. August was typical, as was September, October was very low. Hopefully, November will rebound.
Thanks these are interesting figures.
Wiki - Post on listservs
We need to post on the listservs that the biology wiki is up an running so that new job seekers know it exists. If you are on an appropriate listserv or forum, post a link to this page!
Wiki - Survey Table for 2008
Are we planning on having a survey similar to last year? I found it useful and interesting. I propose another question to the survey: "What is your area of expertise?" The data then become more relevant for individuals because we know (roughly) how many people are applying for each job. Or, at least we know roughly how many might apply AND use this website--which admittedly would only roughly narrow the numbers.
I agree the survey table was interesting. Can someone look at the old page and decide what questions might be appropriate for this year.. Some of the questions added near the end were unnecessary, perhaps we can make it a little shorter than last year.
Wiki - archive
Discussion items from May 15, 2008 and older have been archived on the discussion tab.