How long to wait for a postdoc to be advertized

posted
28-Apr-16, 15:46
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 4 years ago
Hi all,
I was contacted by a prof working at a uni in the northern UK back in October for a postdoc(I am in Canada). My publications (computational chem) are inline with what she needed and that was the reason she contacted me. Initially she offered a very low salary which I rejected (thanks to y'all for the informative feedback!). Then again in January she emailed that she would pay the university rate and I agreed. We had two unofficial Skype interviews in January. She said that everything was alright and she expected me to start in March. And then nothing happened... Mid Feb, I sent a followup email and her response was that the job is okayed but needed to be approved by the Dean and she expected my job to start in April.. then again nothing happened... End of March, After another followup and she said, the offer is ready but according to university laws, it has to be advertised first so I should expect the job ad in the first week of April with a great chance me getting it. When I asked about the visa process, she said that is not a problem and she expects me to start the job in 1st of May!... Today is April 28, there has been no advertised job and no interview and no further email from her. ... The thing is this has been dragged for 6-7 months and because of this I have put everything on hold...My partner no longer thinks this is good unless we have a definitive and plan-able answer. I appreciate if you can help me:

1- If a job advertised, is she going to be the only once to decide on the applicants?
2- How long is the expected time between a postdoc being advertised, candidate selected and visa process?
3- Given the the credibility of the prof, what is the chances that I accept the job and go and face a big unforeseen surprise?
4- Should I trust her anymore?

Love

Poor Kim
posted
28-Apr-16, 15:52
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 4 years ago
P.S.: Needless to say, the last thing I want to do is to send her another followup email.
posted
28-Apr-16, 17:06
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for DocInsanity
posted about 4 years ago
I'm pretty sure that the one person can't decide on the job. It wasn't the case for me even though I was the only person interviewed (presumably I was the only person who matched the person specification). I'm a bit cynical - lots of internal university politics and procedures that mean you can't be sure that this is going to happen.
posted
28-Apr-16, 17:23
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 4 years ago
I wouldn't put my plans on hold for this, Kim. I wouldn't completely rule it out either, but the communication you've had so far would make me have doubts about it ever coming to fruition. If you were planning to move from Canada to the UK, that's a massive commitment and I think you need something a lot more definite so you can plan for such a big move. The prof must live in a land where people can survive on fresh air and vague promises!
posted
28-Apr-16, 17:24
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 4 years ago
PS It doesn't sound good that she suggested paying you lower than the university rate at first. You deserve better than that!
posted
28-Apr-16, 18:21
edited about 24 seconds later
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 4 years ago
Yes, I understand the difficulty of the move but I wonder whether the prof has any idea of what it takes to move a family of 4 (partner + 2 young kids) across the pond. The economy is extremely bad for the mainland Canada (that's why I even thought of the move), but fortunately my husband has a job and we are living in a mortgaged house. My older kid shall be going to preschool this year, so we have to decide on the school now. It is not just matter of filling up a couple of luggages for a 2-week vacation. The mortgage is the biggest challenge as it is not buying (nor renting) market and even if we decide to give up everything and go, we will be losing big time on the house. I had explained the complexity of the move and time for me to get things sort out properly but she seems not interested in my story. I need the job and we need the money but I do not want to rush and lose a lot for this.
posted
28-Apr-16, 18:32
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 4 years ago
P.S.: I wish false academic promises would also be considered as fraud and punishable by the law. I know a lot of lives and talents being destroyed by egocentric academics ....way more than houses being taken a way by bankesters!
posted
28-Apr-16, 19:11
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Kim, I remember your story well and I think we exchanged a few messages about it. Personally, I would have lost my patience and let go of this some time ago. The institution sounds massively disorganised. I recall you telling me which institution it was and I explained how it was not the best, nor worst, but a very mid-ranking institution without much exposure. I think it is too much to risk with how much they have strung this out already- they do not sound particularly trustworthy. What happens if you get the job, complete the massive task of organising everything to move and then they stall things further?

I understand that you say the economy is not very good where you are now, but I would seriously start a search for another job if I were in your shoes. There are many more reputable institutions that would be lucky to have your skills, experience and commitment that are much more organised.
posted
28-Apr-16, 21:09
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 4 years ago
Thank Zutterfly for the message. Yes, after our communication (and also with few other people in here) I said no to the job but later she came back with a "much better offer" (of course as always verbal and nothing on the paper!)... I know it is time for move on but I am mad at myself why I waited this long to come to this conclusion ...
posted
29-Apr-16, 09:29
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From KimWipes:
Thank Zutterfly for the message. Yes, after our communication (and also with few other people in here) I said no to the job but later she came back with a "much better offer" (of course as always verbal and nothing on the paper!)... I know it is time for move on but I am mad at myself why I waited this long to come to this conclusion ...


Don't be mad at yourself, I think when times are as bleak as they are now in this economy you probably would have been mad at yourself for not seeing the job offer through this far. However, you had no indication that they were being disorganised and untrustworthy until now because they have strung it out so much. You couldn't have known that early on in the process as you probably, as many of us would, assumed that they were just experiencing a few genuine delays in their planning, but it has now gone on for so long that you are entitled to come to the conclusion that they are messing you around a bit!
posted
29-Apr-16, 11:44
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for TheEngineer
posted about 4 years ago
The Prof must take things serious because relocating requires massive commitment and adequate preparations especially for you with a family. She is taking you as if you are a citizen of EU, who'd just pack the bags the same day they get the job offer. Tier 2 visa process takes a bit of time because the university has to issue you with the "sponsor certificate" which you will need to apply for your visa. She must also bear in mind that you need ample time to mobilise enough funds for visa fees which are quite astronomical. For instance, for a family of 4, applying for a 3-year Tier 2 visa, we are talking about at least £4500 in visa fees including NHS (medical) surcharge.
posted
30-Apr-16, 09:45
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 4 years ago
I wouldn't write it off and I would probably chase again to see where the ad is. Meantime, I would be seriously looking at other opportunities - and I think I might tell her I was doing this so she knows that you need something concrete very soon or will go elsewhere.

I don't know if this healthy but personally I don't trust anyone in academia anymore!
posted
30-Apr-16, 17:35
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
I wouldn't write it off and I would probably chase again to see where the ad is. Meantime, I would be seriously looking at other opportunities - and I think I might tell her I was doing this so she knows that you need something concrete very soon or will go elsewhere.

I don't know if this healthy but personally I don't trust anyone in academia anymore!


Tudor Queen, I stopped trusting people in academia after my first year of my PhD. It had already started to crack during my MA. I think it is healthy to protect yourself. There is a lot of politics, mind games and back stabbing in academia.
posted
30-Apr-16, 19:14
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 4 years ago
@TheEngineer: Thanks for opening my eyes to the visa fee. I was not aware of that! I checked and yes, it is in that 4,000~5,000 GBP range for a family of 4! adding the cost of thicket, I think the total cost for the visa and the thickets is at least 8,000 to 9,000 GBP! Also, I looked at the postdoc pay range (http://www.indeed.co.uk/salaries/Research-Fellow-Salaries), for my experience (4 years of postdoc) the median is in 33,000 to 35,000 GBP range before tax (25,000 to 27,000 GBP after tax)… so after deducting the visa fee and tickets, my (better to say our family) net income will be 17,000, 19,000 GBP range! … Using BBC the GB class calculator (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22000973) this puts our family into Precariat (the poorest and most deprived class group, even though I clicked my job as a scientist!). I am not sure if a family of 4 can really survive on 17,000, 19,000 GBP…. Am I missing something? Are there other cost that I am not aware of?

@ Tudor_Queen: I am losing my trust in academia too. There is a big difference between what academic life actually is, as opposed to what the public think of it.
posted
30-Apr-16, 19:40
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 4 years ago
£17-19k is not a lot of money for a family of four to survive on. To put it into perspective, a PhD studentship here is about £14k a year. That kind of salary would be workable if your husband also had a job sorted out, but if not then it's not a lot of money to re-locate for.

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