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New Postdoc

I wouldn't know about how a search committee might view a former tenure-track postdoc candidate, but it's worth being aware that the eligibility requirements of many postdoc opportunities specifically exclude anyone who holds or has held a tenure-track job. The rationale, I take it, is that the postdoc is considered a training programme to help researchers get a TT job; according to this line of thinking, those who have already achieved a TT job have already "made it" and don't need further pre-professorial training.


New Postdoc: interesting, I don't recall ever seeing that in a postdoc advertisement. Is it just a requirement that is usually not mentioned in the job ad?

former postdoc

I can think of at least two cases (people known to me personally) where someone who had a postdoc was previously an assistant professor.

In one case the person in question actually left their job, for reasons similar to those expressed in the OP. They did a two year postdoc at a good department, and got a job which, while objectively similar, worked better for them. This was a while ago; in the 00s, before the financial crisis IIRC. YMMV.

In the other case, a job I would have thought of as a postdoc also turned out to be open to 'faculty fellows'; the person who got it took a leave from their existing TT position. They did wind up returning, but I suppose one wouldn't have to - you could use the time to apply out to other TTs (though, depending on contract/$$$ stuff, you might have to pay back any salary your institution added to 'top-off' the fellowship, if you never return).


Here's an example of a post-doc that explicitly rules out people with TT positions:


Under "eligibility to apply", second bullet point.


Amanda: As anon posted, SSHRCs are limited in this way. So are the FRQSC and Killam postdocs, and I believe there are similar limits on the Banting. In the US, I know that the ASA postdoc has a time limit built in, and a fair few of the others I've applied for have given limits of the PhD earned 3-5 years beforehand.

UK ads will usually specifiy a time limit, too--IIRC it's usually something like four years in a research position (so: in theory, the PhD plus one year out), with occasional exceptions allowed.


Thanks Michel. I know almost all of them have time limits - I mentioned that in my first post. Time limits can be anywhere from 2-7 years post-phd, but typically are in the 4-6 range, I think. It is interesting about the ones you mentioned, but that is far from most post docs. I am thinking of the typical post doc that is not like a grant, where you apply at a specific university. Those are the ones that I haven't seen them rule out TT people. And those are most of the ones posted on phil jobs, at least. I know world wide there are so many that it would be hard to get a handle on what is average.

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