Why I want to be a prof

Rachelle J. Bienstock rachelle at picard.niehs.nih.gov
Tue Apr 23 16:11:26 EST 1996

Tenure is hard to come by these days at most institutions...
Most institutions want to be sure that someone is bringing in
lots of grant money and will continue to do so...I think that
this is the primary criteria used for awarding tenure...From
my observations, many starting faculty spend alot of time on
teaching and then don't have postdocs to work in the lab...so
they are busy teaching and working in the lab and don't have
the time to spend on grant proposals-the most important thing
in terms of tenure...Basically I have heard from most people
that if one does not land that major NSF or NIH research grant
by the 3rd year you can kiss tenure goodbye...Getting one major
grant allows you to hire a postdoc or lab tech to churn out results and
keep the lab going while you write more grants...

So, if you think being a prof is really about "mentoring" and
"nuturing young minds" think again...maybe it is...once you have
tenure and a secure stream of grant funding...

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