Signup date: 08 Jun 2008 at 6:52pm
Last login: 28 Sep 2020 at 7:58pm
Post count: 1432
In the EU I think you are going to struggle. There is an expectation that you don't skip the Masters training because of the Bologna system (3 yrs Bachelor 2 years Masters 3 year PhD). Countries like France and Germany are not known to be flexible on this. The only EU state that I think allows you to go from Bachelor to PhD is Ireland (and that might not be everywhere). As Rewt says the UK, while not in the EU, allows it for some sciences still.
Depending on what you are applying for, there may also be processes of demand management i.e. the funder or the university restricts the numbers allowed to apply from the institution. In those cases you need to look out for internal competition deadlines weeks before the actual deadline. Either your PI or your departmental research administrator should be able to tell you whether that's something you need to copy in.
Yes the obvious move having gained a permanent lectureship is to apply for an individual fellowship for new investigators rather than going backwards to being a junior researcher on a research project as pd1598 points out. Precarity in academia is such that everyone understands switching between temporary teaching and research jobs as you need to pay the bills, but giving up a permanent role without a very obvious reason (e.g. family caring responsibilities mean you need to move area or your department is being closed down) will raise eyebrows.
If the lectureship was a permanent post it would look odd. Not so if it were a one year temporary teaching post. However, in the latter case, what is sometimes difficult is keeping up your research agenda, while doing a lot of teaching, so that you remain competitive for research posts.
If you are choosing for next academic year between a temporary teaching post and a research post though, I'd stay on the research side. Teaching next academic year will be brutal for everyone and if you've not already got lectures written and existing teaching experience so you know how things work, it will be so hard. Teaching mainly online for more hours than usual (including at a growing number of places evening and weekend teaching looks likely), disgruntled and struggling students, working from home where possible so less mentoring possible and the physical risks of any face-to-face teaching. Everyone's dreading it. For a permanent post, it's probably worth it but less so otherwise...Although given all the redundancies being announced, permanent may not actually be permanent, but to be fair that's the case with most jobs at the moment.
I'm afraid that there aren't many social sciences postdocs out there compared to the sciences (especially at the moment with hiring freezes). There are various centralised schemes; in the UK, British Academy, ESRC, Leverhulme, Canada, I think it's SSRC; where you need the backing of a university and submit your own project proposal. Otherwise, for the ones where you work on someone's grant, you are probably seeing all that's out there.I assume you're on the mailing list for the appropriate disciplinary association already, that's the other place I see postdocs advertised?
I'd cut your losses and leave. You sound unhappy and given the political situation in HK is likely to get worse not better,you may be better off elsewhere. Do you think you might want to work in Germany / EU in the future? If so will not having a masters be an issue? I know from working there myself that they expected your education to map onto the Bologna system in job applications, but luckily I'm a social scientist so we've had to do a Masters before the PhD for decades anyway. It might though be worth doing a masters anyway to have a clearer idea what area of physics you want to work in, as it sounds like you're still unsure.
I have a friend who managed it while teaching. It was an EdD though rather than a standard PhD. The course was set up for people working in education so was easier to manage. She had a supportive headteacher though and I think went p/t at work for the final year. She did it out of interest and never wanted an academic career but it's certainly served her well in the education world. She's now doing education policy work and is on double what she was earning as a teacher. It might not be the right route for you but in case you'd not come across professional doctorates, I thought it was worth mentioning.
It might be just a realistic assessment of what she thinks the academic job market in your field is going to look like for the next few years rather than anything personal. If what's already happening in the US and Australia is anything to go by, and it's certainly looking bad here in the UK too, it's going to be very hard indeed for people to get a foot on the academic ladder. It might not be the worse idea to see what info your careers people have on industry jobs so that you're well-informed on all possibilities.
Anecdotally I've been hearing at my university, that application levels for the small number of postdocs that can be advertised during a hiring freeze are very high and that the HR side is very slow as their systems don't work too well away from the university network. I'd give it a month to 6 weeks before writing things off at the moment.
You might find this helpful: https://fundsonline.org.uk/ But the problem is that the sums of money are often small and one-off. I really doubt (particularly given the recession to come) that you could pull enough together and it would be a near constant task.
Is the choice of Huddersfield to work with a particular expert? Huddersfield isn't covered by AHRC PhD funding as far as I can tell, but Leeds, York and Sheffield are in the White Rose partnership. Their next deadline would be January 2021 but that would give you time to identify suitable supervisors and work on a proposal. It might be an option if you have a strong academic background or if the research might interest a collaborative sponsor.
What I meant by holding off, is that personally I wouldn't waste good contacts by speculatively emailing at a point, when the PIs don't know what's going to happen, when in a month things might be a bit clearer regarding funding (will new projects be delayed, or extensions given), the REF, when universities might be able to reopen etc. Applying for an actual job is rather different and of course you should do that.
+1 with Nead - delete that email if it's anything like your post. It will only make you sound like you're not prepared to do the work for your thesis that you've been asked to do. Let's face it, if we're lucky enough just to be bored and frustrated right now, then we're the fortunate ones who aren't dealing with illness and bereavement.
I think you probably would need to work out whether it would be viable to support yourself for 1.5-2 years in this place (and if you need a visa whether that would be a problem). It might be worth asking about provision to study part-time etc and if there are any fees that might apply to you after the funding runs out. If he's making it clear that he's retiring on a certain date, does that mean he's running his lab down? Would you be supervised if you weren't finished? Sorry for all the pessimistic questions but a friend got very badly abandoned in a similar position, so it might be worth asking upfront.
On the impact of the pandemic, it seems that some university systems will be hit worse than others. It sounds like the USA is preparing for major cuts even at Ivy League universities, but somehow I'd imagine the Sweden / Norway type countries will have fewer cutbacks.
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