Thursday, June 24, 2010

Job advice from the Academic Jungle

A great new job-related series, this one oriented toward faculty at research-intensive institutions, has started up at IHE. Here is the link to the Academic Jungle index at IHE and to the first article, about the importance of service in the R1 world.

The same article appears in the home blog of the author, GMP. (BTW, "geek mommy prof" is a great nom-de-blog.) It makes the important point that you can't afford to zero out any part of the research/teaching/service triangle. It is sort of a counter-point to the emphasis I put on outside letters in Part 4 of my jobs series, which focused on R1 faculty jobs from the viewpoint of an outside observer.

(I was going to post some of the following additional comments on that blog, but for some reason Firefox does not play well with that particular comment form - so I'll put them here.) One of the comments over there had to do with teaching-intensive jobs. From my viewpoint, it is more than just a matter of flipping research and teaching. As I elaborated in Part 5, we expect a formal teaching portfolio, or its equivalent. Just as you might not know about outside letters until last in the tenure process at an R1, you might not know anything about teaching portfolio if you come out of a research university - which is the case for just about everyone looking for a teaching job.

I'll add that there might be more jobs out there than "Alyssa" knows about, because many teaching jobs are simply not advertised in the same place as research jobs.

I'm going to try again to comment on GMP's sited, but one reason I didn't comment on the IHE version of the article is that I don't like to dump a bunch of self-serving links on their site. But I have no problem doing that here. All of my articles related to jobs (some clearly about physics, but others not at all) can be found in this link summary. In addition to the two mentioned above, I think this one (linking to an IHE career advice column by a female mechanical engineer) is really good for R1 jobs because that article makes many strong points, including one about presenting your case so the inevitable holes are less visible. On the teaching side, this one riffs off of a great article by Dr. Crazy (showing that teaching Physics and English can have something in common) and makes the point about keeping useful records.

Good record keeping, meaning a good process, is essential if you want to document all of the service you have done. No one can do that for you. I use a small calendar whose sole purpose is to document "odd ball" stuff that has to go in my annual evaluation -- and I already have tenure.


GMP said...

Hi Dr. Pion,

Thanks for the post!

About leaving a comment over at my place -- I have had several people complain about not being able to leave a comment while using Firefox. I have been able to do in from Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, so it may be the browser, but also Blogger is known to be temperamental...

If you'd like, email me what you'd like posted as a comment and I can post it for you and will link back to your place. Also, links to your own specific posts are very welcome, it broadens the conversation.

And I am glad you are back and posting regularly!

Doctor Pion said...

Thanks. I didn't worry much once it was clear that the link back showed up automatically. I suspect one of my security settings since IE also failed. I only use IE for a very few things, so I have it set really tight.

Yeah, this past spring semester just about wiped me out, but part of it was that some of my blogging time ended up on Fb with some old HS friends while the rest was spent writing longish comments on a few blogs I follow rather than writing my own blog.