Job in Theoretical Physics at Maynooth!

Just a short post passing on the information that we have a fixed-term job available in the Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth University. You can find the details here.

The position is for one calendar year starting in September 2021. I know it is a short appointment, but it seems to me that it would provide a good opportunity for an early-career academic to gain some teaching experience while carrying on their research in a lively and collegiate Department.

The deadline for applications is 23.30 on Tuesday 8th June 2021 and you should apply through the Maynooth jobs portal here.

If you’d like to know any more please feel free to contact me privately.

Oh, and please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested!

12 Responses to “Job in Theoretical Physics at Maynooth!”

  1. The job description sounds pretty steep for a one-year contract. 😦

    • Francis Says:

      Agree. Supervision of PhD students seems a bit much for someone only in post for a year, and same for building a strong research profile. Given that they will likely have to spend a lot of time ‘getting up to speed’ with the lectures they have to give, expecting a lot in research and research supervision seems a big ask.

      • telescoper Says:

        Obviously one can’t supervise an entire PhD in one year but it’s reasonable to expect a lecturer to play a role in PhD supervision and carry out research. The point being that it’s not a teaching-only contract.

      • telescoper Says:

        In case anyone is interested this one-year position is an interim arrangement put in place to tide us
        through a period of reorganisation (including the arrival of a new President at Maynooth) and in due course we expect a permanent position to be available. We do need someone in post from September though.

      • Not to mention the time spent looking for the next job and very possibly leaving before the year is up to take up something better.

      • Of course, some have the expectation that when the supervisor changes jobs, the students just move as well.

      • telescoper Says:

        That depends on the students (and how they are funded). What if a supervisor retires part-way through the PhD of a student?

      • “What if a supervisor retires part-way through the PhD of a student?”

        Normally people know when they will retire. So that is something which should be discussed before taking up the student. Of course, unexpected things can happen, the supervisor can die, whatever, and the colleagues should be prepared to step in in such cases.

  2. “ In case anyone is interested this one-year position is an interim arrangement put in place to tide us through a period of reorganisation (including the arrival of a new President at Maynooth) and in due course we expect a permanent position to be available. We do need someone in post from September though.”

    Sure. But it doesn’t say possibility of extension, and probably can’t even if that is desired because the funding is not secure. And would it be extended or advertised anew?

    The only person who would take up such a job is someone who is also between a rock and a hard place. If reasonably good, they’ll probably move to a better job as soon as one becomes available. If not, they’re not really the person you’re looking for. Someone once said if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. As often in academia, the payment itself is not the problem (most academic salaries are about average, between the low-paid menial-work jobs and high-paid professionals), but the lack of perspective.

    But positions like this will continue to be filled, because academia depends to a large extent on the hope of those with fixed-term contracts. While it should be obvious that each professor with students will, on average, have one student who will go on to become a professor with students, too many people believe that they are that one person. If they have delusions of grandeur, maybe it’s their own fault, but in some cases there is the suggestion that paying one’s dues will pay off in a permanent job not far down the road, but often it doesn’t. Sometimes that is deliberate deception, sometimes people with permanent jobs forget that while they got their permanent job, decades ago, two years after their doctorate, that is the case these days only in rare exceptions (and then often non-academic factors play a role).

    My remarks above are just general remarks based on decades of talking with people about jobs in academia, rather than about the advertised position at Maynooth in particular.

    • telescoper Says:

      To answer your question, this is a fixed-term contract. If and when we get a permanent position it will be advertised.

  3. Chris_C Says:

    My son’s PhD supervisor left the country partway through and that department failed miserably to find an adequate replacement. No-one should take on the supervisor role without a very strong intention to see it through, so in my view anyone on a 1-year appointment should be prohibited from supervising PhD students.

    • telescoper Says:

      A person on a one-year contract obviously can’t be the official supervisor of a PhD student, but there’s no reason why he/she should not play a role in a student’s supervision on a temporary basis. It’s not at all unusual for students to have joint supervisory arrangements, and to have a particular member of staff to help on certain parts of the project and not on others.

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