New/would-be academics. Join this thread!

(31 Posts)
EightToSixer Sat 24-Aug-13 11:19:23

Hi, I had a look for the previous thread we were all on, but as it was in chat it seems to have just disappeared. So I thought I'd start another one here (unless someone comes along with the original link).
First task: I need your considerable expertise.....

I have my first academic job interview in early September (social science faculty). I feel prepared for the presentation, but I'm not sure what to wear on my sizeable frame. Suit jackets look ridiculous on me, so, is a black wrap over dress acceptable? Any other ideas. Happy to buy something if necessary, I just wondered what kind of thing I should wear. For lectures in my current institution as an HPL I tend to wear smart jeans and some kind of tunic top, but think that's not quite right for a new position.
Thank you in advance

VisualCharades Sun 25-Aug-13 20:38:08

just finishing my msc thesis/project/dissertation/big essay.

now i kind of left it really, really late as i do all my essays.

was petrified for the first few days writing it up but now feel more chilled out.

now I'm thinking is it a bit emperors new clothes of fear or should I be feeling more afraid?

UptheChimney Tue 27-Aug-13 04:44:41

Old academic lag here, but I've regularly been both sides of the selection panel at all levels. (Interviewed with a VC, and by a VC).

To add to the excellent advice you've already received:

* be very clear about the REF
* be very clear about the REF 2014 and 2020, and how your research trajectory maps onto the REF cycle and requirements.

If you're appointed before 31st October (the REF census date, iirc) you may/will be entered. If this is your first job on a standard academic contract (teaching & research), you'll be an Early career Researcher, so you'll only need one output/publication.

But if it's a research-active, intensive, or aspirational HEI, they'll want it to be 3* or 4* -- they're the only grades which attract the QR funding which pay for all of our sabbaticals & research time.

* Have some good solid plans for publication, and be clear about which journals and why and/or which publishers & why (I was asked this by my now VC in a professorial interview, so it's not just an ECR thing).

* think about how your teaching & your research connect, and how each informs the other.

* be prepared to discuss your experience beyond your PhD -- if you're just newly post-doctoral, it can sometimes be a challenge to think beyond your thesis, but your committee will appreciate it if you do & can.

Better to err on the side of smart dressing than not, although don't overdo it. One candidate for an entry-level lectureship came in as near as an academic gets to a "dolly bird" sort of outfit, complete with false eyelashes (one of which threatened to come adrift). It didn't affect our ranking of her, but it was odd.

EightToSixer Tue 27-Aug-13 08:21:05

Thank you UpTheChimney, I'll remember to make more of my publications and my experience beyond PhD. This post is one year to cover leave but Its a good reminder to show the panel my long term perspective in case a vacancy arises further down the line.

Oh and no false eyelashes or fake tan - got it :-)

BarbariansAtTheGates Thu 29-Aug-13 14:15:03

Just found the new thread - hi all! Good luck with the job interview and viva, eight and dreaming, and your application tiny. I wore a wrap dress for my successful interview also all the unsuccessful ones. I would second that unobtrusive (not noticeably scruffy or showy) and comfortable are best.

I start my new job on Monday, and because I am taking the day off for a family party tomorrow, today is my last day in my postdoc. I've just this minute handed in my office key at the institution I have studied and worked at for the last decade. sad

I'm looking forward to the new start - I've been incredibly lucky with my new post, and the department seems lovely. I haven't heard much since I got my contract several months ago, so I emailed the department administrator today just to check that if I turn up on Monday morning there'll be an office to go to and I'll actually be able to get in to the building!

Your experience worries me, skyler, because I'm simply not going to be able to put in the kind of hours you seem to be doing. I will be spending 3.5hrs every day commuting (luckily 2hrs of that on a train where I can work) - so if I'm still in the office at 8pm I may as well not bother going home at all! I just know that once I start there'll be thousands of little administrative jobs that need to be done, plus I have all new lectures and courses to prepare for. I suppose there's no point in worrying about it until it happens though.

yetanotherworry Mon 09-Sep-13 18:09:07

Barbarian, how is the new job. I hope you're enjoying it and its not too time-consuming.

I have a question. I'm putting a grant together (career re-entry) and one of my references is an open access/PLOSone article. What's the story about these? Are they ok to use or are they frowned upon?

BarbariansAtTheGates Wed 11-Sep-13 19:04:30

Hi yetanother. The job's going ok so far - students aren't back yet so I'm spending my days doing induction admin and writing lectures, while trying to keep my own work ticking over. The rest of the (very laid-back) department seem to be pleasantly surprised I'm even coming into the office before term begins! The commute is going ok as well, which I was worried about. I work on the train, so even though I'm out of the house 12 hours a day I don't work at all when I'm at home in the evenings, and I get a proper break. As for the open access/PLOSone question - it's not my field, so I'm not sure, but I personally wouldn't hesitate to use a peer-reviewed article in any context.

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