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12/07/2021

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R1-Equivalent in UK

I am at an R1-equivalent institution in the UK, and have sat on a few search committees for permanent positions now. My sense is that public philosophy will help you. It is looked at favourably by most, and the rest tend to view it neutrally.

The main issue is the balance of the CV. If you only have public philosophy, with no peer-reviewed journal articles, then you won't stand much of a chance. If you mostly have public philosophy, then it will depend on where/what else you have (are the journal articles in top places, etc.).

Perhaps the main reason for this is our REF requirements (for those not in the UK, these are government-run assessments of research outputs that all universities/departments need to submit to). Public philosophy does not do well in the REF, and so we need to see something on the CV that will show that you can contribute to the REF as well.

A HUGE caveat: another part of the REF is 'impact'. If your public philosophy can be used for an impact case-study, then it will be a HUGE plus in the UK. My sense is that many departments are incredibly keen on hiring people that can create good impact case studies, especially if the department feels it is lacking in that regard at that point in time (which many are...).

Of course, it might be hard to make a good impact case study out of things in places like Aeon, Slate, etc, as the regulations ask for evidence that your own research has made an 'impact' outside of academia and some of those articles (but not all!) seem to be more like accessible introductions. These things have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but if you are applying with lots of public philosophy, include something in your cover letter about impact case studies!

So overall: I think public philosophy is rarely a negative, and normally a positive. But, if it is only public philosophy on the CV, that might cause some problems.

fan of pp

I'm not sure it's just administrators that care about having a 'public face'. With many departments facing cuts--cuts that potentially threaten their very existence--the chance to hire someone who can generate excitement both inside the department and in the community is *huge*.

Evan1

I would do a ratio. 70% of your work could be peer-review while 30% is public philosophy. I'm being conservative in favor of peer-review since there is a high expectation that you publish more research. Be wise and prudential about your CV. As well, look at the CVs of the faculties that work there to know what kind of person/academic the departments are looking for. Every department isn't random and so if you pay attention, there is some pattern to each department or school. You have to be targeted about these things to maximize your chances of being hired.

This also applies to non-academic jobs. My resume and cover letter had to be error-free and the best they can be. For every job I applied for, I tailored my resume to fit the particular job because I know they had to get past the recruiter and hiring manager. And every recruiter and hiring manager are different and so they expect different things.

Mike Titelbaum

Coming from an R1, when I see public philosophy on a cv, I never read it as a minus, and often (depending on what it is) view it as a plus.

With that said, my interest in hiring is strongly driven by what else is on the cv. Our tenure committee on the university level is still figuring out how to properly take into consideration public-facing work. While they do that, it’s important to me to hire folks that I’m relatively confident we can tenure. So to me the issue isn’t about ratios. It’s about whether the other things on your cv suffice to instill confidence that you’ll be tenurable even if the public work is ignored.

G

At my R2, public philosophy is always a plus. It never counts against a candidate.

However, public philosophy is usually not regarded as part of your research. Having research programs (leading to peer-reviewed publications) is a required qualification, but doing public philosophy is a preferred qualification.

I guess a separate and more controversial question, which I saw people debating elsewhere, is whether public philosophy should be counted as one's research.

Legionnaire

At my regional comprehensive college (whose name is Legion), lots of public philosophy isn't sufficient for tenure, but a couple of conference papers plus a stream of public philosophy can be used to argue for having met research standards for tenure.

In a (temporary) non-academic position

As someone who just found a job, I've never been on the other side of the hiring table. Just one piece of advice from my supervisor I think relevant:

On the CV, make it absolutely clear that nothing except peer-reviewed publication is under the section "peer-reviewed publication."

My supervisor mentioned that some may not like other stuff suggested to be peer-reviewed publications. This can occur unintentionally if other stuff is put under "publication" without further categorisation.

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