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« Case Histories | Main | Further notes on Library Thing »

September 19, 2005


Chad Orzel

In the comments to a post at Pharyngula, someone asked, " Okay... but is it really just as hard to get a job at a liberal arts college than at a research university?"

No job applicant in his or her reasonably right mind will apply to just one type of position; search pools at wildly different institutions will still share a large number of candidates.

This is really a Two Cultures sort of moment-- the sciences and the humanities are really radically different in this. In the sciences, you really do have to pick one or the other type of institution, because you simply can't do the same things at a small college that you would do at a large research university. Particularly if you're an experimental scientist, as small colleges frequently don't provide the financial resources you would need to think of setting up a research-university lab-- my start-up funds were probably a tenth of what a person at a large research university would expect to get.

In the sciences, you need to do more than change your cover letter when applying to a small school-- you need to change your entire research program.


I'm a PhD student in a research-oriented program. The commentary about Research I & II schools, vs. teaching schools... means nothing to me (beyond what I can infer from the entry.) Could you recommend a resource for learning more about this stratification?


Chad: I see what you mean. Humanities professors actually have a lesser version of this problem--library access determines what we can and can't do. (Or, of course, you can just buy everything you work on *cough*).

Ceresina: see the Carnegie Classifications for an explanation of terms. I teach at a Master's College/University I.


Thank you for the link!

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