Thursday, March 5, 2009

New (Related) Question

Using process of elimination, I think I may have figured out who the faculty member is at SFRSHS school that is hiring for a research assistant. 

Is it reasonable to email this professor and ask if it is, in fact, her lab that is hiring? Can I ask this question without somehow getting my hands on and reading all of her recent articles? I assume it would be entirely inappropriate to include my CV as an attachment since that would be going around the requested avenue for the application. 

So you professors out there - can I ask her directly without coming across as stupid? There is nothing about the position on her lab page, but based on the description in the job posting, only her research fits what they're talking about. 

9 comments:

Hermitage said...

If it's not being advertised on her page I'm assuming that it's an internal position, possibly due to money issues, her wanting a particular individual, etc. But I'm just a n00b, wait for the Professor Cavalry to ride in:P

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Stop overthinking this. If you are possibly interested in the position, then apply using the procedure that is stated in the job ad. When I want people to contact me directly for a position, I state that in the job ad.

If I have some other filtering process for a particular position and do not want applicants to contact me directly, I would--at best--ignore any attempts at direct communication or--at worst--be annoyed and think poorly of the applicant for attempting to subvert the process.

JLK said...

@Hermitage - I found it originally through a job posting website, so it can't be internal.

@CPP - THANK YOU. That's what I thought, but every stupid website I looked up said to try and figure out who was posting the job and blah blah blah.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

That's what I thought, but every stupid website I looked up said to try and figure out who was posting the job and blah blah blah.

I'm shocked that anyone would be so fucking clueless as to suggest that. "Yeah. Purposely annoy the person you think might be hiring. That's the ticket!"

JLK said...

@CPP-They say the same thing about potential grad advisors. I received such conflicting information between books, websites, and people that I really didn't know WTF to do.

Some said to send a very brief email asking only if that person was planning to accept grad students the following year. Others said to read as many articles as possible and send emails with questions about their research. And still others said not to bother them at all, and to direct questions about whether a professor is taking students to a department admin. People I spoke to said that you are not likely to be admitted to a grad program UNLESS you have contacted the faculty member.

So I was like WTF??? I went with what I perceived to be the middle route - emailed the faculty member asking only if they were taking grad students after stating that I was interested in applying to work with them. If I didn't hear back from them after a month or so, I emailed the dept admin if available.

I hate the inconsistencies. I think I might blog about it....

Comrade PhysioProf said...

As far as grad school, it's very field dependent. In the biomedical and biosciences--where grad students are almost always funded by training grants for their first two years and do a series of lab rotations their first year before mutually deciding on a thesis lab--students mostly just apply to a program with the thought that there are some faculty they could see themselves working with. Accordingly, when I receive e-mails from prospective students asking about my lab, I ignore them.

JLK said...

@CPP - I would love to know why it's so different among the fields. Us psych students need to know exactly who we want to work with, why, and for what purpose before we've even met this person. It seems to me that it makes much more sense to do it the bio way.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

I would love to know why it's so different among the fields.

It's mostly because of the different economics of paying grad student stipends in different fields.

Psych Post Doc said...

It is very uncommon that a faculty member/department/lab would not actively advertise an opening, thus Hermitage may be right. It could possibly be that they have a specific someone in mind for the position.

Many universities require that you advertise externally so faculty/departments will do that and then hope that nobody more qualified will apply as they are often forced to interview them.

That being said, just apply. There isn't anyway to know and who knows you might just get an interview and impress them enough that they offer you the job.

I also agree that you should not try and contact the PI, they would have set it up so that it was easy to know they have a position if they wanted that contact.

P.S. word verification for this is backp. Funny given this is your backup plan for grad school. :)

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