Many postdoctoral researchers apply for faculty positions knowing relatively little about the hiring process or what is needed to secure a job offer. To address this lack of knowledge about the hiring process we conducted a survey of applicants for faculty positions: the survey ran between May 2018 and May 2019, and received 317 responses. We analyzed the responses to explore the interplay between various scholarly metrics and hiring outcomes. We concluded that, above a certain threshold, the benchmarks traditionally used to measure research success – including funding, number of publications or journals published in – were unable to completely differentiate applicants with and without job offers. Respondents also reported that the hiring process was unnecessarily stressful, time-consuming, and lacking in feedback, irrespective of outcome. Our findings suggest that there is considerable scope to improve the transparency of the hiring process.
The authors confirm that, for approved reasons, access restrictions apply to the data underlying the findings. Raw data underlying this study cannot be made publicly available in order to safeguard participant anonymity and that of their organizations. Ethical approval for the project was granted on the basis that only aggregated data is provided (as has been provided in the supplementary tables) (with appropriate anonymization) as part of this publication.
- Amanda Haage
- Jason D Fernandes
- Ariangela J Kozik
- Nafisa M Jadavji
- Vikas Pejaver
- Vikas Pejaver
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: This survey was created by researchers listed as authors on this publication, affiliated with universities in the United States in an effort to promote increased transparency on challenges early career researchers face during the academic job search process. The authors respect the confidentiality and anonymity of all respondents. No identifiable private information has been collected by the surveys presented in this publication. Participation in both surveys has been voluntary and the respondents could choose to stop responding to the surveys at any time. Both 'Job Applicant' and 'Search Committee' survey has been verified by the University of North Dakota Institutional Review Board (IRB) as Exempt according to 45CFR46.101(b)(2): Anonymous Surveys No Risk on 08/29/2019. IRB project number: IRB-201908-045. Please contact Dr. Amanda Haage (email@example.com) for further inquiries.
- Helena Pérez Valle, eLife, United Kingdom
© 2020, Fernandes et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.