Visiting Professor - good idea?

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Visiting Professor - good idea?

Postby Kim » Wed Dec 15, 2004 1:06 pm

I sent out about 25 applications for assistant professor positions this fall. I have had one interview and gotten 3 rejection letters so far. I am beginning to consider my other options.
I have been a postdoc for approaching 6 years now. One option is to do another postdoc (hopefully a short one) while applying for faculty jobs again next year.
Another option would be to take a so-called "visiting professor" position. I'm thinking this could help me get my foot in the door somewhere and lead to a "real" job. And if not, at least it would give me somewhere academic to bide my time while continuing to apply.
My question is, are these visiting jobs a form of career suicide? Or are they helpful?
And if anyone has suggestions for other things I can do in the interim - I have to leave my current position next fall - I'm open to ideas!

Visiting Professor - good idea?

Postby Emil Chuck » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:44 pm

Just wondering: what responsibilities does that position entail, and for what positions are you interested? I don't need specifics but at least an idea of what constitutes your ideal job and what skills you have (and what you need to develop). Also, why did you get rejected? (Not that you need to answer online... but they are questions to consider.)

I don't think it's anything bad to get a visiting assistant professor position if there are no other options. The question to me is why you want that position. How would this position get you the faculty position you want to land? Six years of a postdoc followed by a one-year adjunct position... I don't know but you are already on some shaky ground that a one-year temporary appointment in and of itself may not add much to what you have.

I'd also suggest reading up on the lives of the adjunct faculty (Chronicle of Higher Education : ). A lot of their plights sound very similar to the plights of science postdocs.

If you're doing this to get added teaching experience, that would be one thing. But getting that position as a hold-over towards getting your "dream job"... I'd rather put more of my psychological effort into landing the dream job than not. Sure, I think having a safety net is fine, but you can't be miserable about it.

Just my own thoughts about it. I wish you lots of luck.
Emil Chuck
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