The time has to be closely managed to ensure you leave the postdoc employed.As this guest poster writes, “I believe that the multi-year postdoc as it’s referred to in US academia, is a blight upon my CV, as peers and more seniors weigh up my modest publication record against the three golden years I had at Oxford.” Take care, readers!As an entering cohort, in 2004, we were told that our placement record was stellar, and that a good dissertation plus promising research agenda would be all we would need.
A dream come true, for a young aspiring scholar, but yet a double edged sword: if I failed to produce, it would count against me on the job market. For various reasons I will explain, the publications were too few, and came too late, for the prestige of the Oxford JRF to help me on the market.I was lucky to secure a tenure track position within my first couple of weeks on the US job market, at a Research 1 university.A few months ago I wrote a column in Chronicle Vitae about managing your time for a postdoc; the main point being, get your writing done!A reader wrote to follow up and share her own story about failing to effectively manage her writing time on a prestigious three-year postdoc.I knew next to nothing about the publication process; to illustrate my ignorance: I did not know what a cover letter to the Editor would entail.
I did not know Scholar One, or any of the details that go into actual submission. Suddenly I was left on my own, in my lodgings in Oxford, to go forth and publish.
Even more depressing cases have been reported by senior faculty of 7 years from submission to publication, with 7 rejections in the interim.
Meanwhile, for personal reasons I’d also decided to go on the UK market.
I myself had tried to launch projects with various colleagues, all of which had gone nowhere.
Thus, I arrived in October, 2010 to Oxford with no publication experience.
I also chanced upon an excellent discussant at our annual conference, who provided on point feedback for another paper. Instead of awaiting more feedback, I went just with her feedback, plus some advice regarding journal choice from other postdocs at Oxford.