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The Phantom Job Talk.

23 March 2017

Today I gave what I’m calling a “phantom job talk”. I spoke at a health policy department, discussing my research and how engineering influences policy and can inform public health decision making. The talk was fun, the audience was engaged, and the discussion during and after was robust. It was well-received and I enjoyed it immensely. Really couldn’t have gone better.

I call it a phantom job talk because the department is currently doing a search for a new associate or full professor. Based on my career status, publication record, funding record, etc., it’s not out of the realm of possibility that I could be a tenured professor in a medical school. I feel reasonably confident that my status puts me in at least reasonably favorable comparison with some members of that group. Top tier? Of course not. But in the group of associate professors. Maybe.

I applied for the position. I already knew the group and had some contacts with them, and they had decided to invite me to talk before the position search was announced. But given that I am an applicant for the position, this gave me a great opportunity: I can give a talk before they decide to interview me or not. The director was in the room, and perhaps some other members of the search committee.

Now, if they’re only looking for people with active funding, I’m out. I have $650 sitting in a grant account that expires in July. But if I had any hope of being considered, I made the case today. People were excited, interested, and seemed eager to collaborate with me.
If I don’t get an interview now, I never had any hope to begin with. And that’s ok. I have a good job and I’m on hard money. I don’t know if I’d take a professorship if it were offered. Especially with the current funding climate.

But I do want to be able to make a different type of contribution than I’m making right now. I’ve grown a little stale with my current environment. I want to be studying larger problems and different types of modeling architectures. And this represents an opportunity to begin doing that, maybe.

One Comment leave one →
  1. aimee permalink
    23 March 2017 13:24

    Good luck!

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