Off-season academic job searches

Colleen McLinn presents at S3 2017

~April 13, 2020~ 

(Reposted from the April 13, 2020 Graduate Announcements)

This time of year it can feel a little hard to know where to start searching for academic job postings. Many of the tenure-track faculty searches for Fall 2020 have wrapped up – or perhaps been cancelled due to COVID-19 – and the postings for Fall 2021 have not yet appeared. (Look for those to start being posted in earnest as it moves into summer, with the deadlines for application packages starting around October 1.) See this blog post by Cornell alumna Frankie Zhu for her timeline and process.

Here are some types of academic jobs that you can find posted now for the coming fall semester:

  • Regular Faculty Positions – If state budget uncertainty, administrative vacancy, or retirement led to a search being posted late, some schools may still be searching for faculty to start in fall 2020, possibly even on the tenure track! Institutional types might include state colleges and universities, and these may be run as more targeted regional searches through networking to colleagues in appropriate departments.
  • Visiting Assistant Professors – These are great opportunities to gain teaching experience at a specific type of institution such as a liberal arts college, as you replace a faculty member on sabbatical. May last 1-3 years. Rarely become longer term opportunities or involve time for research.
  • Lecturers or Instructors – These are renewable term positions involving mainly teaching, sometimes for lecture sections only or lab sections only. In contrast to adjunct positions, the former usually carry a full-time salary and benefits. (See an overview of North American academic titles)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships – Often regular research postdocs are found through networking or advertisement (see tips on searching). However, other types of postdocs also exist, including postdoc positions aimed at diversifying the faculty, which may become tenure-track positions if things go well; NIH IRACDA postdocs involving teaching (e.g., PennPORTUCLA UPLIFT); and education or outreach postdocs related to funded grant projects.

Some jobs boards which can help you find more term-limited positions to help you expand your academic skillset include:

Be aware that availability of visa sponsorship may vary depending on length of position and job title. The Office of Global Learning provides an overview of how faculty/staff visas work at Cornell.

Happy searching, and please visit the Graduate School’s resources on Exploring Options for more ideas on offices available to support you!