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The Philjobs Appointments section suggests this happens quite frequently, albeit mostly with American TT jobs. I haven't seen it with European ones, but that could just be a matter of their low numbers in philjobs anyway. If I had been in that situation, I would have asked to defer for a year--two might be pushing it--because it can't hurt to ask. I don't think it makes you look bad/uncommitted to the TT job.


I think this is really case by case. But it does seem to depend on how research focused the university with the tenure-track offer is. They might see this as an opportunity for someone else to foot the bill for your research time (much like getting an external grant). But they might also have pressing teaching needs and would need to advertise a new 1-2 year position on very short notice. Since it’s impossible to know where they stand on this, I think it’s best to just explain the situation and ask what the options are (perhaps sketching a few options yourself). I know of some cases where people deferred the start date of the TT by a year (I don't personally know of longer deferrals being accepted). I also know if at least one case where someone had to complete one year at the TT job and then was granted a one-year sabbatical to go to the postdoc fellowship that they were offered the year before. So there might be some creative options here.


I know one case of a European deferring a grant for a post doc for one year, starting a six year teaching position, and then deferring it for two years after the first year. This is not a philosopher. But it suggests such things are possible (and not just logically possible).


As others said, I would let the school making the offer know about the fellowship to see how they might be able accommodate your situation. I was in a somewhat similar position as I had an offer for a TT job at a community college and a (9-month) Fulbright award. The community college was willing to defer for a semester, which was reasonable given that it was a teaching position. In the end, I went with the Fulbright and returned to my home institution (four-year) as a permanent lecturer. It was a difficult decision, but I am glad that I explored the possibility of deferring the TT position so that I had all my options on the table. Good luck!


I know you want the research time so this isn’t entirely relevant. But this past fall I started a TT job while also keeping the second year of a research fellowship. The fellowship allowed it so it was easy to approach the TT about it. My point is that there is often flexibility. Look, if you get offered a TT it means they really want you given the market is flooded. Just explain to them the situation while making it clear you’re thrilled about the offer. Good luck!


Whatever else you do, if you decide to defer the TT job be very explicit with that department that you do not intend to surreptitiously apply elsewhere during your deferred year (even if you plan to do so, which I wouldn't sanction but still). Despite it not being aboveboard, people try to do this and the TT place might worry you're going to do it.


I don't really know about the situation in other countries, but here (Germany) the university probably won't be too happy about deferring the start of your TT job. You can always ask, of course, no harm in that, but I would expect them to reply along the lines of: 'Good for you, but you gotta decide. If you don't take the position, we'll just offer it to the next guy on the list because we have invested a lot of time and work into filling this position and we can't afford to keep it vacant for two years.' If they *really* want you, though, there's a slight chance that they might be willing to negotiate - maybe making a better offer so the TT job becomes more attractive, or finding a substitute for your first two years. But in my experience, universities are not very eager about negotiations at the TT level.

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