Monday, January 12, 2009

Search seminar

I mentioned in the colloquium that faculty job search seminars are usually worth attending since you will, or should, see people bringing their A game. Good job seminars often give a good overview of the researchers work, focus specifically on one or more particular aspects and are usually suitable for a general biology audience. So they are good for you to attend because you get to hear a good research seminar and you get to see how people present themselves, and hopefully pick up tips for your own presentations, either as an undergraduate, graduate or, eventually, as a job candidate yourself. It's never too early to start thinking about it.

EEMB is currently searching for a new position under the general category of 'Evolutionary genomics'. What happens is that the faculty search committee, a group of half a dozen, mainly members of the Department, usually with one outside member and a graduate student member, review all the applications. Depending on how specific the job ad is this can vary but about 100 applications would be typical. They then select a small number, typically 4 to 6 to invite to interview. This process does not vary a whole lot from place to place in the US and the normal scenario is a two day visit, with lots of one on one meetings with faculty members and a research seminar. In other countries there is more likely to be a formal 'interview' with a panel but in the US this is not the norm. It's an exhausting process though because for two days you are pretty much expected to be 'on' constantly.

The research seminar is a very important part of this process. Most members of the department will usually try and attend and a bad performance will make your hiring an uphill battle even if you have the best publication record. The faculty search committee will make a recommendation after all the visits and the department, as a whole, will then vote on this (that's why the seminar is important - for many members of the department that will be their main exposure to you). If the department agrees the chosen candidate will still need to be approved by a University committee. Here at UCSB that will be the Committee on Academic Personnell - so a unanimous vote by the department is important.

Hmm, I didn't really intend to write all that down, but then again how are you meant to know this stuff? The EEMB seminar calendar for the quarter is now out and you'll see there are six Evolutionary Genomics candidates - the first one is today (The Importance of Scale in Drosophila Evolutionary Genomics, Nadia Singh, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University) and to squeeze them all in some of the upcoming seminars are at odd times of day and different places to the regular EEMB seminars.

1 comment:

Rokib said...

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