Very few TT ecology faculty positions in the US and Canada are filled by “insiders” (however defined), and as an applicant you can’t tell which ones will be

The faculty job market is going to be really bad this year due to the fallout from Covid-19. My heart goes out to anyone on the market this year. But still, there are some jobs out there, and so I’m sure folks on the ecology faculty job market would like good information about the market. I spent three years compiling a lot of data on the US and Canadian ecology faculty job market, summarized and linked to here. But few folks seem to click those links. So over the next few days I’m going to re-post some of the links that remain relevant and useful.

Today: as a faculty job seeker in ecology in the US or Canada, should you worry that the position for which you’re applying will be filled by an “insider”? Perhaps someone who currently works in the hiring department, or who used to work there, or who got a degree there, or who has collaborators there? I actually have no idea how many job seekers worry about this. But in case you are worried about this, I’d say try not to be, for three reasons. First, only a tiny fraction of all TT ecology faculty positions in the US and Canada are filled by inside candidates, no matter how broadly you define “insiders”. Second, you can’t predict the rare positions that will be filled by “insiders”. Third, the rare positions that do end up being filled by “insiders” mostly are normal searches. Not searches-in-name-only, where the position actually is intended for a specific “inside” candidate from the get-go. So I think your best bet as an applicant is to just go ahead and apply for any jobs you think you might want. Don’t futilely try to guess whether any of those jobs are among the extremely rare ones that are predestined to go to “insiders”.

If you are on the ecology faculty job market, I hope you found this post useful. Best of luck in your search.

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