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Thread by @JeffHavig: "I was explaining the timeline for a typical academic tenure track hire to someone not in academia the other day, and they were completely fl […]"

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I was explaining the timeline for a typical academic tenure track hire to someone not in academia the other day, and they were completely flabbergasted, so here it is for those that are unfamiliar. This is specifically for an R1 institution. Others may deviate significantly. 1/
You are usually required to provide a 1-3 page statement outlining how you envision your research going, a 1-2 page statement describing your teaching style/abilities, a curriculum vitae (resume) outlining everything you have done to build your career, and three referenses. 2/
You will need to write a 1-2 page cover letter addressed to the hiring committee that effectively introduces yourself and describes how you see yourself fitting in to the department/university you are applying to. All of these things you need to tailor to each position. 3/
Some searches will require letters of reference from your professional contacts up front. These are from places that have zero respect for the fact they are asking 300 to 600 of their colleagues to write letters. Most places will ask for letters AFTER they make a short list. 4/
So once you submit your application, you will likely hear nothing from them ever again, not even a 'thanks for applying'.

However, if you are lucky, you might be selected from the 100-200+ applications to be on the 'short list' of ~12 best qualified applicants. 5/
If you make the short list, the hiring committee will ask your references for letters, and they will call you or email you to set up a phone interview. The timeline for this is typically 4 to 6 weeks from when applications were due, but it can be more like 8 weeks sometimes. 6/
So let's say you nailed your phone interview, and are selected as one of the four people to bring in for an on site interview. The committee will contact you to arrange it, and the timing is usually 2 to 3 months after applications were due, longer if winter break interferes. 7/
The on site interview is usually 2 days. You will have to give at least one ~1 hour long talk about your research, and you may also be asked to give a ~1 hour more informal 'chalk talk' to demonstrate your teaching skills. 8/
During your on site interview, you will will also meet with:
-most of the faculty one-on-one
-grads/undergrads as a group
-dept. staff as a group
-the hiring committee
-the dept. chair
And sometimes the Dean or other higher-up officials. 9/
You may also be given a tour of the building and associated facilities, you may be shown your potential lab space, and given a tour of campus. You will also be taken out to lunch (usu. with students), and dinner (usu. with hiring committee). 10/
After all four interviewees have had their on site interviews (~2-4 weeks), the hiring committee convenes to make their decision on who they want to make an offer to. This is then voted on by the faculty, and then has to be approved by the Dept. head, Dean, and Provost. 11/
Once everyone approves of who to make an offer to, and if it is you, the hiring committee will contact you, and then begins negotiations (how much startup money, salary, lab space, etc.). This is also when potential for a partner hire (if you have one) should be brought up. 12/
You can usually expect the initial offer to come 4 to 5 months after applications were due, sometimes longer. Negotiations, a second on site visit, and the official offer (with actual $ laid out) will happen after that. Earliest start is usually the following fall. 13/
And if at any point along the way you do not make the cut, you will be completely ghosted. If you made it to the on site interview but didn't get the first offer, there is a chance you could be given the offer if their first choice declines. 14/
My experience is ~5% of the institutions will eventually send you notification that the position was filled and thank you for your application. Most of the time you find out a year later on twitter when a colleague announces the new position they are starting. 15/
So to everyone else out there in the academic job search trenches: best of luck, and make sure you have a good support system to help you through this gruelling process. If you are already faculty, be kind to candidates. We're all in this together. 16/fin.
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