advice on re-applying

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advice on re-applying

Postby Rebecca Q. » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:41 am

Dear Science Careers Forum readers & advisors,

I have recently interviewed for my first PI job. Following the interview I have contacted the director per email just to thank him for inviting me etc. He has immediately responded (like in two hours it was over the weekend actually) by stating that my application has been very positively evaluated, however that the committee cannot recommend my position at this point but that they would like me to consider reapplying to the next call. He also wrote that he will be in touch again to discuss future plans when he has the detailed reports. While I have addressed him formally in my initial email, he has now switched to using first names, which is fine with me...
I am not quite sure how to interpret all this. I am interested in the position at this institute (as it is a newly established center they are looking for more people than just one internal candidate, if you know what I mean). Am I just getting very politely rejected here? I have never heard of anyone being re-interviewed for the same group leader opening (in academia at least)...
Thanks for any advice! For your info the committee consisted of international experts who do not hold positions at this center.
Rebecca Q.
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Re: advice on re-applying

Postby Dave Walker » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:04 pm

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for writing us your question. Hopefully a forum member familiar with the PI application process can provide advice from experience.

Below is my opinion, though I must say I don't know how PI applications work, and your institution does not sound like the ones I have worked in previously:

When they say please "reapply to the next call", what does that mean? Is hiring done in cycles, like grants? Or are you waiting for the next job posting? If it's the latter, that sounds to me like a polite rejection, like the old "we'll keep your resume on file." I would move on to the next application.

Since he has said he will be in touch again, I would be ready for this. Follow up in a few weeks if you don't hear from him. And I think it's fair to bring up your concerns ask on the phone or in person. (Like what is their process for re-applying? What is the next step?) You should hear the answer right away.

In the meantime, move on to the next opportunity. This is always good advice when on the job hunt :)

Finally, I wouldn't look too far into formal-vs-first-name email addresses -- this is far too subtle to read in an email. Much better to get a read on someone on the phone, or in a meeting.
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Re: advice on re-applying

Postby Ana » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:12 pm

When would next call be?

Maybe if it a way to tell you that you are a very promising scientist but not yet competitive for the position, and he thinks in one year or so you will be a much stronger candidate. But that depends on what you mean by "next call".
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