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I recently completed a postdoc at a prestigious R1 university, in a high profile lab. My publication record is not prolific, but those that I have published as first author are well respected journals, and a handful of middle author publications in top journals as well. I have a consistent teaching record throughout my graduate and postdoc training as well.

I applied to faculty positions at ~30 schools over the past two years, including several that I was not very excited about, but were in my target location and had open positions, so I applied. In total, I've had two on campus interviews and have been offered a faculty position at a low ranking liberal arts university (awards Master's but not PhDs) that seems like somewhat of a good fit for me personally in terms of the teaching I would do and the research interests of the other faculty, but lacks the prestige and resources of larger/more research intensive schools.

Would it be wise to take this position in the hopes that several years of faculty experience will allow me to jump to a different college/university that is a better fit for my professional goals (i.e., more research, higher caliber students, more resources for faculty)? Does this happen often, where someone takes a "starter" appointment and moves to a more fitting situation when it arises, somewhat like a Visiting Assistant Professor position?

1 Answer 1

This happens a lot (job hopping for professors) but it's mainly depending on your research whether you get hired.

If the infrastructure is not there for you to do decent research, you're probably only going to do a lot of teaching without getting many grants or publications that would get you a subsequent position. I think you're better of staying in a postdoc position where you have less teaching responsibility. Get a big grant and you can probably choose where you want to go.