Job Search Question(s)…(UPDATED)

I’ve had a couple of questions about the academic job search in the last couple of days. You all know that demistifying this process is one of my favorite things to do….. and since I’m re-submission writing with renewed energy- y’all get to help me answer this one for DSKS:

Job application question.

If you are a Newbie and, although not in the fundable zone, you reckon you got an okay score and addressable criticisms for your first shot at an R01, can you (should you?) express this in an initial job application? (in this instance, the R01 goals are very much an integral part of the research statement?)

If so, in the cover letter or in the CV or both?

Or is this of absolutely no value whatsoever to a search committee, or even straightforwardly deleterious because it’s tantamount to drawing attention to failure?

It’s not for me. It’s for an, erm, acquaintance of mine… Bob Bobson’s his name. Haw haw. Silly bugger’s trying to get a job in 2009, and he’s to old to join the Navy.

I say ol’ Bob should definitely include the fact that he got a scored R01 application- and on the first submission – on his CV (Should appear under pending grant applications- or some such).  Search committees definitely, definitely care about that kind of stuff, and they know how freaking difficult it is out there right now. If this were me, I’d probably include the score itself and the percentile ranking, and my plan for resubmission dates -on the CV as well. I’m not sure I would write a bunch of bla bla bla about what appeared in the summary statement either in the letter or on the CV- because it would seem obvious to me as a search committee member that if a candidate had a scored R01 they would be pretty foolish NOT to try to resubmit it. As a search committee member if I saw the scored R01 bit on a candidate’s CV- and we chose to interview that candidate- I would likely have a conversation with the candidate about what was in the summary statement- and how they think the criticisms could/should be answered. I imagine that this kind of conversation might come up in a chalk-talk as well.

As for whether or not this information should appear in the cover letter- I’m still undecided on that one.  If I mentioned this in the cover letter my gut feeling would be to say – I submitted an R01 and it got scored on it’s A0 submission…. we think the criticisms are easily addressable and will do this and resubmit on XYZ date. I just don’t think the cover letter is the place to do a lot of explaining about how the reviewer’s issues could be rectified- and so bringing up a score here might lead the applicant into feeling like they must to explain. I could EASILY be wrong about this though.

What say you, readers of teh blog… to Q #1?

On to Q#2…from Enrique:

is it a no-no for a postdoc looking for a TT position to include significant contributions towards said postdoc advisor’s grants on a CV?

Never having encountered this situation myself, I’m not sure what advice to give on this one. My sense is that it would be difficult to fit this in on a CV… but I really need your combined opinions!

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10 thoughts on “Job Search Question(s)…(UPDATED)

  1. is it a no-no for a postdoc looking for a TT position to include significant contributions towards said postdoc advisor’s grants on a CV?

  2. Q1, I agree with drdrA. No for cover letter, yes for CV and for dang sure work it into conversations if interviewed.

    Q2, no. can’t list it on the CV because it has no formal accepted standing at this time. The postdoc advisor should, however, highlight this in the rec letter with as many specifics as possible.

  3. Bob Bobson, Hellz yeah put it on your CV like DrDrA says. You can split up the grants section into past, current, and pending. You can list the dates, $$, and scores. Don’t stick the info in the cover letter.

    Enrique, if you don’t have your own funded grants (or subs in the hopper), you might be up the creek without a paddle. So, are you trying to show that there are grants pending/funded for which you are not a PI on but significantly contributed to the writing? If so, then you’ll need to have a clear plan written up for the research statement (you do not want to be seen as a copy of your PI). Maybe on your CV under the grants section, you can put “Contributor” – it might look odd. I’ve never seen that on a job applicant CV. And for the grants that I was a contributor but not PI on, my advisors talked about it in their reference letters for me.

  4. (1) Yes; on CV (just give the priority score and %ile without editorializing). No; in cover letter. And just to be clear, this is not going to be given much weight, but it won’t hurt.

    (2) This is the kind of thing that can only be presented via the mentor’s letter of recommendation. It just comes across as inane puffery when asserted by the applicant.

  5. great post.

    what about a non-R01 that can’t be resubmitted, but is still very competitive, so that the score itself says something?

    I’m guessing this is sort of like getting an ‘honorable mention’ instead of a fellowship?

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