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I agree with Marcus.

Marcus Arvan

Thanks, Amanda.

Here's a contrary opinion from a philosopher on twitter: "My advice: only apply to the TT. Don't give them a reason to like you, but have the 'out' to offer the postdoc only. Make hiring panels hurt to say 'no' (which makes them more likely to say 'yes'). Applying for both gives them a way to say no and feel good (by giving postdoc)."

A tenured faculty member at a teaching school (community college) seconded this.

I see both sides, and would be very curious to hear from people at places that have done simultaneous postdoc and TT searches. Perhaps they could provide some more clarity.


I could be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that there is someone who would have been hired for the TT if only they had not applied to the postdoc. The good news is if everyone (or many people) take this advice there will be far less postdoc competition.


We've run multiple searches like this in the past. If you only apply to the TT job, you won't get the post-doc. Maybe you're OK with that; maybe you don't want a post doc. But if you would take the post-doc (even if you'd prefer the TT) you have to apply for it.

We won't - (in fact can't I think - by the hiring rules), hire someone for a job they didn't apply for.

I will also add: it is quite common when we do have both permanent and post-doc positions for many people to apply to both. It is not held against the people for the TT position that they also applied to the post-doc. Most do. Usually only those that already have a TT job and are looking to move don't apply to a post-doc.

In my experience, the search committees are often (but not always) different.

I can't say whether all Universities are like this, but I suspect many are.

Mark N Lance

I didn't even know which you assumed was a better job. I turned down decent TT offers for a postdoc at a similar quality school my first time out. Very glad I did. The level of competition for any position screams in favor of applying for all. I just think the scenario mentioned above - they will hire you, but wouldn't if they had the "out" of offering the postdoc is so vanishingly unlikely as not to be worth considering.

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