University of Calgary hiring two tenure-track ecology profs

The Dept. of Biological Sciences is hiring two tenure-track asst. professors (or in exceptional cases, associate professors), one in animal ecophysiology and the other in ecosystem services under climate change. Links go to the ads. Application deadline is Oct. 3, 2022 for both positions.

I’m not on either search committee, but if anyone wants to ask questions about the positions, the department, the city, etc., email me and I’ll do my best to answer them (jefox@ucalgary.ca).

One thing I will say is that, while we’re legally obliged to give preference to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, that does not mean that others shouldn’t bother applying! I wasn’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident when I was hired at Calgary back in 2004. Just last year, we hired a non-Canadian. And we’ve hired other non-Canadians over the years. So don’t take yourself out of the running on the mistaken assumption that we’re sure to hire a Canadian. You can’t predict what the applicant pool will look like–neither can we! So if you think you might want one of these jobs, apply!*

*p.s. If you want the job, but aren’t sure whether it’s worth the effort to apply, given how long it takes you to put together an application, well, are you sure you need to do all that customization of your application materials? We have an old post with data on how much customization EEB faculty job applicants do, and how much customization search committee members want EEB faculty job applicants to do.

6 thoughts on “University of Calgary hiring two tenure-track ecology profs

  1. How about the dry lab thing for the ‘ecosystem services under climate change’ ad? I’m interested and a good proportion of my work is theoretical or using other people’s data, but don’t think I could give up doing my own empirical work. Maybe just a bad fit then?

    • My understanding is that there’s no room for negotiation on the fact that it’s a drylab position. That’s the reason that language is in the job ad. Depending on the nature of the data you collect yourself, there could be opportunities for you to collect it by borrowing/sharing space and equipment belonging to another lab. But sorry, if you’re totally sure that you absolutely have to have your own wet lab to be happy in your job, then this position isn’t a fit for you.

      I’d encourage you to apply if you think you’re interested. If you get to the interview stage and get the chance to meet folks here, see the city, etc., you might find that you change your mind about a wet lab being essential to you. That happens sometimes. It happened to me: I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to take a postdoc overseas, in a big city far from family. But I took it, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

      Thanks for your interest in the position, hope these comments help.

  2. I think I fit well in the job description, but I am interested in the associate professor rank, since that’s the position I currently have elsewhere. Do you have an idea of how exceptional are “exceptional cases”? Do they ever happen?

    • Hard to be precise, of course, and the only way to find out for sure is to apply. It depends in part on what the rest of the applicant pool ends up looking like, whether or not you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, etc.

      Just speaking generally about the EEB faculty job market in N. America, positions advertised as asst/assoc or open rank hardly ever are filled at a rank above asst (see our Ecology Faculty Job Market Data page for links to the data). There’s no reason to think this position would be an exception to the general rule. So your prior should be that it’s unlikely but not impossible that this position will be filled at the associate level.

      Turning to relevant background info that’s specific to our department in the year 2022…I can tell you that, in my time at Calgary (since fall 2004), our department has done at least one search at the asst/assoc level that was filled at the associate level. So it’s not unheard of in our dept. The search committee definitely will give any application from an associate prof a close look; they’re not going to bin it just because it says “associate prof” at the top. Having said that, that search that hired an associate prof was back when UCalgary was flush with government funding, which we no longer are. Speculating: our funding situation may make it (even) less likely than in the past that we’ll fill an asst/assoc position at the associate level. (As I’m sure you know, but for the benefit of readers who might not: associate profs tend to be more expensive to hire than asst profs. Associate profs are hired at higher salary levels than asst profs, and tend to demand higher startups than asst profs.)

      If you decide to apply, and want to maximize your chances, I’d encourage you to address up front two questions the search committee is likely to have. 1. Why do you want to come to Calgary, given that you’re already well-established and secure in your current position? Give whatever reassurance you can that you’re not just using us for leverage at your current position. 2. Provide whatever reassurance you can that your startup and renovation requirements would fit the constraints of the position. We’re funding constrained when it comes to startup and renovations. That’s part of why the job ad specifies that the ecosystem ecology position is a dry lab position.

      I’d encourage you to contact Dave Hansen, our Head of Dept., who might be able to provide more background.

      Hope this helps.

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