ladedalade1 karma2015-08-10 17:32:33 UTC
Thanks for doing this! I've had some health challenges during grad school that have really cut my productivity down. I'm in social science with an emphasis on science. I have one paper out (open access), another under review (decently high impact factor if it goes through). But I've finished year 4 and haven't finished my candidacy papers let alone proposed my dissertation (with the topic still up in the air). With a combination of diet and medication I'm feeling way more capable of making progress than I have in a long time though definitely not perfectly healthy still. Being capable again brings with it caring again and being stressed out about how far I still have to go to get this degree. I'm not wed to academia though I'd like to take a stab at it, I've sipped the basic science non-commercialized knowledge for the sake of knowledge kool-aid. But I know that there are post-ac jobs out there I'd be doing cool work. I'd be open to a post-doc but I'm really tired of being part of transient communities and would way prefer to be able to put down roots near my family or at least where other people are putting down roots.
I guess the question is: how to recover from low productivity that was beyond your control? I'm going to take at least 6 years in an ideally 5 year program. Is a long time to degree a red flag for hiring committees? Would potentially taking longer than even the 6 years but having better publications/research record be beneficial? What is your view on that trade off?
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ladedalade1 karma2015-08-10 18:41:07 UTC
As background: My program is new and interdisciplinary. I know that you advise against such a program but that horse has left the barn. And not that they had it when I came in but they are starting to build up an impressive placement record with 7 of 9 graduates degree-relevantly employed, 3 as TT, and another 2 postdocs moving from here to TT positions. So the gamble seems to have been worth it - we are paid actual living wages and have very nice travel funding to help get this new program off the ground so get to go to multiple conferences a year. Our faculty even hosted the national conference to get our program out there and visible.
My cohort mate got an interview for a TT at an R1 last year as an ABD. He was the last choice and they ultimately had a failed search thinking he needs a few more years of seasoning. One concern raised was that as someone with an interdisciplinary degree he wasn't "Hiring Discipline X" enough. How can us interdisciplinary folks market ourselves for more traditional departments? My biased opinion is that our department is very visible and has established enough of a track record in just a few years that the newness of it shouldn't be too much of a hinderance. But do you think the newness and interdisciplinarity could be interacting negatively?
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