Signup date: 22 Jun 2006 at 5:48pm
Last login: 13 Jun 2008 at 2:13pm
Post count: 120
Shani, at the moment I don't think I've been the victim of ageism because I've only applied for a few jobs so far. I suppose I'm curious because I assumed that given a choice employers in academia would (as employers have been known to do in the real world) go for young people because they would be perceived as being more ambitious and industrious etc. I know this is a stereotype but employers in the real world certainly believe it and base their employment decisions on it.
Ann, yes feedback would be helpful. As has been said by someone earlier in this thread competition is fierce and that is probably the reason I’ve not been short listed. My only hope is that some of my articles get published. The only thing about this is, as you know, the submission process takes ages. So in all likelihood it will take a couple of years for me to build up a decent publishing track record before I become employable. By then I will be over forty.
Shani and Verdy. Thanks for your advice. I suppose my real question is not whether I am the victim of ageism but how it would be possible to establish that ageism was going on in any selection process. I don't think it ever can be. No panel is going to admit to rejecting a candidate on age grounds.
Yes, they were lecturing posts.
So you don't think ageism may be involved--at least with the postdoc position? I would presumably have to do a postdoc before I could get a lecturing job because it seems unlikely I will get a lecturing job without having my foot in the academic door that a postdoc would afford me.
But if age may play a part in the postdoc selection criteria what is to be done? A selection panel can use any excuse they like to account for a person’s unsuitability for a job, so in that event how can anyone know that age was not the real factor?
I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on whether it is more difficult to gain a first job in academia if one is in their late thirties as opposed to being in their mid twenties. I’m in the former category and am in the process of applying for academic positions.
So far, three universities have not invited me for interview. I don’t know whether or not it is because of my age or the fact that I am not yet published. In the case of one university it can’t be because of my lack of publishing as the post was for a postdoc which didn’t stipulate a publishing track record in its person specific criteria notes, indeed it said that even people who had nearly finished their PhD could apply (in my experience, many PhD students are not yet published).
I recently gained a PhD and have several articles in submission with various journals. I have teaching experience and I’ve delivered papers at two conferences. Therefore, I’m just wondering if it could be an “age thing”. If it is to do with age, how can it be proved anyway? What does anyone think?
I'm not sure what criteria about lengths of time spent reading a thesis examiners use. But I'm sure it wouldn't be less for a PhD thesis than an article when one considers what is at stake with a PhD fail result (a life changing decision) as opposed to an article rejection (a temporary annoyance). Besides it would take the examiners longer to read a thesis if only because it is longer than an article.
You’re right regarding the viva: there’s an external and an internal examiner. In most cases, there are just two peer reviewers for journal articles.
I don’t quite know what you mean when you say, ‘I would have thought that the peer review process for a journal article is more stringent than for a viva, when you consider their relative lengths’. Although the actual viva lasts around two hours (in my case at least) the questions asked by the examiners at it are the culmination of both examiners’ ruminations on the thesis over several months, and as such the viva allows them to question the candidate about aspects of the thesis that at first glance my seem unsound. I can assure you that the reading of an 80,000 word thesis by two examiners and the subsequent viva is just as stringent, if not more so, than the peer reviewing of an 8,000 word article for a journal.
I'm in the process of sending off articles adapted from chapters of my PhD thesis to journals. I passed my viva a few months ago. I appreciate that the articles' fate will rest in the hands of the peer review system for each journal submitted to. Nevertheless, I am curious as to why articles from a successfully passed PhD thesis should have to go through a journal peer review process at all. Surely if PhD examiners judge a thesis to be an original contribution to knowledge then journal editors should think so also. Or am I being naïve?
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