Money and Self-Esteem

E. Wijsman wijsman at
Thu Sep 18 15:51:48 EST 1997

I agree with Rae.  It is your research productivity (and potential - ie.,
does the direction look interesting), plus letters, and maybe also the
quality of your job talk (depending on where you are interviewing) which
is important. The details of exactly what non-faculty positions you have
had, etc., seem to be pretty irrelevant, one way or the other, although
some sort of post-PhD experience seems to be good in that the hiring
department has a better idea of the candidate's ability to work

When I was a grad student (years ago) at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison,
my department was interviewing candidates.  There were over 300 applicants
(things were just as crazy then as now) and the department brought quite a
lot through to interview (that has changed - we can't afford that many
actual interviews now). All of those that came to interview had
potentially very interesting research areas, excellent letters, good
productivity, etc.  The ones who made the final very short list all gave
fantastic talks.  After that, the final decision was based on such things
as what area the department most needed to maintain balance, what
directions the field was likely to go in, etc. 

Two lessons I took away from this were:  (1) learn to give a really good
talk, and get lots of speaking experience as a student and postdoc; and
(2) especially as a postdoc, choose an area of research which is likely to
grow.  Don't pick an area which is already hot since by the time you want
to find a more permanent position, the current hot areas may be passe.

Ellen M. Wijsman			Express mail address:
Research Professor			1914 N 34th St., suite 209
Div. of Medical Genetics and		Seattle, WA   98103
Dept. Biostatistics 			(Note:  do not mention the
BOX 357720, University of Washington 	 Univ. of Washington, and
Seattle, WA   98195-7720		 use this address only for	
phone:  (206) 543-8987			 express mail)
fax:    (206) 616-1973			email:  wijsman at

On 18 Sep 1997, Rae Nishi wrote:

> In article < at>
> l.rosenblum at ("L. Rosenblum") writes:
> > I'm curious to know (from a career rather than a financial perspective) how
> > moving into what may be another temporary position (instructor, research
> > associate, etc.) is perceived by a search committee for a tenure-track
> > position.  Are there biases against those people who have taken a number of
> > temporary positions (say two post-docs and a non-tenure track faculty) while
> > applying for tenure-track positions? ---Lisa 
> There are not very many biases against these positions.  What matters
> most is your track record (publications), your letters, and your
> research interest statement. 
> Rae 

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