Sunday, February 27, 2011


I need to recruit some post-doctoral fellows. This sounds fairly simple at first glance, given the general state of the economy and the good reputation of the Institute, but there are a few complicating factors.

First, there is the possibility (depending upon my application) that I, and therefore these positions, will be moving to a different institute in a different part of Germany. I should know by mid-April, but until then I need to be somewhat vague as to the location.

Second, my boss is also recruiting, and effectively has first dibs on any of the candidates except those I independently recruit. So there are a couple of interesting candidates coming through the Institute's training courses, but he plans to offer them positions. In so far as there is a pool of local talent, I can't readily draw on it.

Third, although quite a few people have now seen my review article, I am still not widely known. This means no one is going to be just looking me up to see if I have positions available.

Fourth, I need to recruit some people with fairly specific and distinct skill sets and interests. A statistical demographer, a experimentalist to work with small aquatic invertebrates, and a developmental geneticist to start with. Good candidates for these three positions are likely to be reading three different sets of journals, going to three different types of meetings, and so on. Further, what I will ask them to work on is a bit outside the purview of each field, meaning candidates with specific plans for what research they want to do would have to change those plans considerably to fit within the bounds of the project.

Fifth, Rostock as a location is not a big draw. While not a bad lace to live for a few years, the place doesn't add anything to the appeal of the job for most potential applicants.

Finally, while my Institute is very well known to Demographers internationally, most biologists don't know of it and the biology that goes on here, and may be turned off by applying to a demographic institute.

Post-finally, I've not recruited anyone more senior than an undergrad before, and so I'm learning as I go.

Which all goes to say I am going to have to put some time and work into getting the word out. I frankly doubt I will fill each position in the near future, but I sure will try.

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