Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tepid news

University D is in a city where my partner and I would love to be for both personal and professional reasons. We have a lot of friends in the area. University D offered my partner a fly out last year that he refused because of the time line to accept his current position. It has a few people who work on related subjects to mine there, and I recently got an e-mail telling me that I'd be on the list of serious candidates for a post-doc that is likely to exist pending funding.

Pending funding.

Well damn*. To be fair, the e-mail writer wasn't trying to say that he didn't think my cv looked worthy of a TT position. He had pointed out that it looked like there wouldn't be any TT positions. And that it looked likely that there would be a couple university funded post docs.

When last I discussed this situation, we were trying to decide whether or not to tell the university about my 2 body situation. My partner talked to his advisor about this, who said that being very public about this may just shoot me in the foot in terms of getting a job there. On the other hand, not telling may sabotage my partner's chances, if I get this position.

Furthermore, if this is a post-doc with no, or little hope of turning into a TT position, it's going to look very bad for my partner when he's looking for his 3rd TT position if he's already accepted 1 TT position, moved after a year, accepted a second TT position and moved again after 2 years.

So where does this leave us? Hell if we know. We'll probably reveal the situation to my partner's department if I get an offer**. Sigh...

*All the 2-body issues aside, I am very excited by the tendrils of interest I seem to be getting from University D. I'm just finding it hard to focus on that at the moment.
**I'm not putting a lot of faith in getting a job at University D. My partner got a lot of warm/encouraging responses when he was on the market, and for one reason or another, none of them turned into jobs. But it seems the strongest lead I have, and it would put us near friends, which is really nice.


  1. I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago (me = postdoc at an university, partner = TT). I am sorry to say this, and I know how hard things are for you, but based on my own experience, I wouldn't really hope that the postdoc will turn into a TT position. Postdocs very very rarely do.
    Good luck with your job-search and two-body situation. I hope things turn out well.

  2. I had a postdoc that turned into a TT position. This never would have happened if we hadn't acted as if it wasn't going to -- my wife and I were probably less than a day from accepting a pair of offers elsewhere when the local offer materialized. Some incidental details about this process annoyed me for years; I finally got over it after realizing how many different kinds of function and dysfunction it took to make things play out that way.

  3. I wouldn't count on a postdoc turning into TT -- I have never seen it happen, although I know a number of postdocs who hoped it would. In my department, people say there is always fear that you would not be able to come out from underneath the postdoc advisor's shadow.

    Anyway, I would act as if there would be no TT after that postdoc.

  4. Sometimes postdocs are hired as TT in the same institution, but this is typically when the postdoc is outstanding to the committee's eyes and s/he would have been hired anyway.

    That being said, it's a tempting plan if you and your partner can be at the same place. Can your partner take a leave of absence from the current university?