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Lecturers - career advice please!

(24 Posts)
ocelot41 Sat 27-Jun-15 16:24:48

I am trying to move from a new uni to an older more research- intensive uni. I think I have a good story to tell about research, practice and course development but when I was offered a job recently, they offered me less money than I am on now and at a lower band. Is this normal or were they being a bit cheeky?

Lweji Sat 27-Jun-15 18:59:34

It may depend on their budget or your CV is comparable to other staff at that level, but it could be a negotiating starting point.
I'd counter offer with at least what you are earning now and possibly make a point about moving up.

ocelot41 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:33:54

I tried. They wouldn't budgesad

cantthinkofnewname Sat 27-Jun-15 19:46:00

This doesn't surprise me. One of the best places in my field, and a very prestigious uni, always offers salaries a good £3-4000 below what's ordinarily offered. I presume it's because they know that academics are motivated by prestige, research activity etc as much as salary and we should be 'grateful' to be offered a job at such a lofty institution it puts me off though and it would have to be a great post to justify a lower salary.

ocelot41 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:47:50

Yes, that was pretty much the order of it. Its a big drop and no relocation expenses were offered. They seemed a bit miffed when I declined! But what did they expect?

Lweji Sat 27-Jun-15 19:50:18

How do you see progression at either Uni?
Could you end up with a better CV at this older Uni and eventually get an even better position?
Or would it likely be the same?

Lweji Sat 27-Jun-15 19:51:58

Oh, cross post.
You have already declined.

Maybe they had other similar candidates they could offer less money to (e.g. currently unemployed).

cantthinkofnewname Sat 27-Jun-15 19:54:54

I have also noticed that some institutions no longer reimburse job candidates' interview expenses. I was made redundant a few months ago so have been looking for a bit now and have also noticed that academic salaries seem to be generally lower, or more is expected. At one interview recently I was treated terribly and I really got the impression I was supposed to just suck it up and be grateful to be short listed.

spinoa Sat 27-Jun-15 19:56:02

On the other hand I have seen a lot of applicants from newer universities declaring salary levels/bands which they would never have been on at the universities I have worked at. Conversely headhunters from a new university have offered 15k+ more than I currently earn as a professor - pretty much no professor would get that kind of salary at my institution without a hefty management role such as Dean.

So I guess it depends on the situation: it may well be cheeky, but it may also be true that salaries/bands at that institution are lower.

ocelot41 Sat 27-Jun-15 20:13:50

Well cantthinkofnewname they are now saying they won't reimburse my interview expenses because I declined. I was a bitshock but you offered me less money than I am on!!! But didn't know if this was normal practice or not?

cantthinkofnewname Sat 27-Jun-15 20:49:23

Tbh, I think it's pretty standard to not pay expenses if you decline. I've seen something to that effect on several JDs. Doesn't make it right of course. I don't like academia much at the moment maybe this is why I'm not getting job offers It's very competitive and everyone's obsessed with REF results and 'impact', even for some teaching only posts I've applied for maybe I should do something else, but am long in tooth now

Lweji Sat 27-Jun-15 20:59:38

Just as long as the offer was within the range they advertised, I don't think they would have to offer you the same as where you are. You could have asked what was their policy on matching candidates to salary band.

ocelot41 Sat 27-Jun-15 21:03:42

OK, maybe I was being unrealistic then. I just thought - why would someone make a big move, sell their house, uproot theirbkid from school and so on so they could be a lot worse off?

Lweji Sat 27-Jun-15 21:07:28

It depends on your priorities. You might have wanted to relocate anyway, or prefer to work at a more research focused institution, or think they offered better career chances and in fact better pay sooner than at the other Uni.

Then, they might not have wanted you that badly.
If they had two or three candidates the job could have been offered to, and your CV was not up there with their own staff, why offer more?

(alternatively, if you are a woman, why offer more? - being cynical)

ocelot41 Sat 27-Jun-15 22:14:31

This is all very interesting. I have only worked for my current institution so don't really know how practice's compare

lljkk Sun 28-Jun-15 18:04:13

At my Uni we're obliged to offer at the bottom of published salary scale. To go above that we have to establish an academic case, which probably is about getting someone highly unusual, not merely meeting the essential & desirable requirements.

UptheChimney Sun 28-Jun-15 23:25:37

Hmmmm, I think you have to weigh up whether the move is worth a step back in salary. The salary scales at old universities are usually longer & bigger than at the new universities, once you get past entry level.

If I were to assume an extreme research-intensive attitude, it may be that your research record, grant record, publications, PhD students supervised etc etc are at about entry level for an old university/pre-92/research-intensive place. In my field at least, what looks good at an ex-poly is just average/what you're expected to do at my place. It's difficult if you've got nothing to compare with, or are not getting proper advice: for example, it's embarrassing when people put down book reviews as publications in their CV.

But that stereotypical attitude aside, it is a biot odd to offer you less than you're currently receiving. My experience has always been that I've been offered at least a 10% "lift" to get me to move.

ocelot41 Mon 06-Jul-15 17:55:43

Thanks for all the advice folks - much appreciated

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 06-Jul-15 17:59:47

My DH is at one of the top 5 universities. He gets less salary than others because it is implied that by being at one of the top 5 the opportunities for funding and consultancy are higher, and there is more demand for your position if you leave etc.

ocelot41 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:17:53

Interesting. Am main wage earner so can't take this stuff lightly. If it was near to us and a bit less that would be one thing, or a move to a cheaper area. But a salary drop plus moving costs plus somewhere more expensive to live? No can do

countryman25 Sun 01-Nov-15 23:11:39

I'm a Prof at a pre-92 uni, and well aware that I am underpaid compared to similarly published colleagues elsewhere or compared to the salary scales in job ads. Any hints for moving unis at professorial level? Is networking key to getting your name in people's heads?

PeasePuddingCold Mon 02-Nov-15 14:41:23

countryman It might be useful to post your question over in the new Academics' Corner, in the Employment section of Talk.

But my initial thought is that if you're already a full professor & don't have a network which ca help, then there's something missing.

Best way [sadly] to get a pay rise out of your current university is to be shortlisted for a post elsewhere.

disquisitiones Mon 02-Nov-15 16:00:05

Do other professors in your field move around? Are the jobs advertised or are people headhunted?

In my own field there are virtually no jobs available at senior levels but indeed you need a job offer to get a significant pay rise. A few senior people moved just before the last REF but they were headhunted and no open advertisements were posted. (Universities hid behind generic REF advertisements.) There was definitely some unconscious bias in the headhunting e.g. very few of those who were headhunted were female.

I guess senior people could apply for jobs in their fields advertised at lower levels and then try to negotiate chairs. But this strategy would be unlikely to work - most departments advertising for a lecturer don't want and can't afford a professor. And applying widely could get back to your own institution and have consequences.

Overall I don't think there is an easy solution. I think a lot of academics are underpaid just because they can't get offers from elsewhere.

roscoe25 Wed 11-Nov-15 10:05:58

Thanks for confirming what I observe to be the case. That moving at Professor level is not really possible unless one has an inside connection - but without an offer not possible to get a raise. Hard to know how to make that happen....

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