Monday, January 15, 2018

Unemployment rate and weekly wage by education level

Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics
It's an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it's worth noting that the 2016 ACS member unemployment rate was 2.6%. Median weekly pay was $1881, so that compares well, which is nice to hear.  

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pick rollers

A list of small, useful things (links):
Again, an open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

What do you want to talk about this year?

Over at the academic science blog xykademiqz, they are doing "Blog Delurking Week." I think that's a great idea, so I am copying that.

If you are a reader but not a commenter, please take a little time and tell us a little about yourself. Also, this would be a good place to request posts or changes to the site. Happy 2018! 

Any news on the pay front?

Credit: Newsmax
A little birdie has mentioned to me that they are seeing news of happy trends in pay raises recently - has anyone else seen an out-of-trend bump in pay?

Here's hoping it's true! 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 115 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list has 115 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

20 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 11 new positions posted for January 7 and 9 new positions for January 5.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 82 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 82 positions.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 486 positions

The 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 486 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

On January 8, 2017, the 2017 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 538 positions.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Try the open thread.

Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

Job posting: business analyst, KiWi Power Ltd., London, UK

Via Twitter, a position with Kiwi Power, a power technology company in London:
Job specification: Business analyst, KiWi Power Ltd. 
What: The role consists of a number of functions, as listed below.
  • Technical writing. The role will include the preparation of grant proposals. Preparation of grants requires an amount of technical reporting, ranging from market assessment and business models in demand response to specific technical solutions – such as platform-level documentation, use cases, IT infrastructure system descriptions etc. In many cases, reference materials are already available in house, and need to be collated to match the appropriate reporting formats and scope.
  • Automation. Many day-to-day operational tasks have evolved to be carried out on a manual basis. Most of these tasks are readily amenable to automation through augmentation of the rapidly-customisable CRM. The candidate will be expected to familiarise themselves with the design of the CRM, and to suggest, design and implement improvements to the data structure in order to allow this automation.
  • Reporting. The company regularly publishes reports of performance, earnings and operational data. The candidate will be responsible for gathering data necessary to create new reports or migrate old reports from the legacy system where applicable. Report data will be gathered from a data warehouse to which the candidate will be expected to add new fields and objects where necessary.
Who: Graduate-level degree in Science / Engineering / Computing or similar with a desire to learn more about technology in general; power markets, systems and demand response in particular. Previous exposure to EC-funded projects would be a plus but not mandatory....
A comment from the poster: "On the up side, it’s in the middle of London and is a good fit for a physical scientist looking for an exit strategy. On the down side, I’m pretty sure it’d be reporting to me."

Full listing here. Inquiries to - best wishes to those interested. 

PUI professor job hopping

From the 2017-2018 open thread, an interesting exchange. From Anonymous (January 6, 2018 at 2:44 PM):
Any current assistant professors out there applying for PUI positions? I'm wondering how much mobility really exists in those positions. Does teaching a couple years (as an asst. prof, not an adjunct) help you move to a better school?
And the informed response from another Anonymous (January 7, 2018 at 8:38 AM):
I teach at a PUI and moved from another PUI when I was an assistant professor. There is definitely mobility in these cases. If you wish to "move up" the PUI school ladder, some of it will depend on what you have accomplished at your current position. Most likely, the schools that you are applying to will want to see that you have established yourself as an effective teacher and scholar and that you are contributing to the shared governance of your current institution in a positive manner. 
I would suspect that if you have at least one letter from someone in your department speaking positively about your teaching and research (with students) and a letter from outside your department discussing how well you work in committees that you will be good. Many search committees like faculty applications from other assistant professors because they have teaching experience and have mentored undergraduates in the research lab as well.
This would be another question that I wish that we had a better data around: how many professors move each year between schools? Which schools are more prone to movement (PUI or PhD-granting?) Do assistant professors move before or after tenure? More questions to be solved by the future staffers of the Chemjobber Institute of Advanced Scientific Workforce Studies... 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 23 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 23 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, January 8, 2018

NIH: Study section confidentiality breached?

Via Twitter, an interesting post from December 22 at one of the NIH's blogs about problems with a recent review of grant applications:
...NIH has recently determined that there has been a breach in the integrity of the panel review process of a batch of applications. 
NIH takes the integrity of peer review seriously, and we appreciate that the vast majority of individuals also take the integrity of peer review seriously. Accordingly, after much thought and deliberation, we decided we had no choice but to cancel the panel’s review. The consequences are serious: dozens of applications will need to undergo a re-review. 
When the integrity of peer review has been breached, it affects everyone. We regret that the dozens of affected applicants who did nothing wrong will face substantial delays in getting their applications reviewed and processed. We appreciate that the panel reviewers spent a great deal of time and effort reviewing dozens of applications, traveling, and participating in meetings. NIH must assure a fair process for everyone and will not stand by when the integrity of our peer review process is compromised....
Some of the comments in the post are pretty remarkable. It's not a surprise that this happened - maybe it's a surprise that it took so long? 

Friday, January 5, 2018

View From Your Hood: snowbound adjuncts edition

From a reader: "In ode to all the other adjuncts out there, one advantage of working in academia is the snow days! View from my "hood" last fall when we had about 20 inches of snowfall in CNY, classes were canceled and I worked on lecture slides from home."

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at; will run every other Friday.)

Do you tell law enforcement that you work in chemistry?

Via Twitter, an interesting anecdote from a chemistry professor about an incoming postdoc crossing the border into the United States from Canada: 
Received a call from my soon to be Canadian postdoc today from Toronto as he tried to fly to ATL. He was denied entry bc his offer letter packet “was not thick enough”. Seriously???
This started a pretty interesting conversation regarding chemists at the border, including this amusing suggestion from a professor in Spain:
Never ever tell you’re going to a Chemistry conference. Always scientific conference.
I've never dealt with this, mostly because I don't cross international borders very often. I imagine in these days of fears about terrorism, saying "I'm a molecular scientist" seems a little less likely to get the notice of a Customs and Border Protection officer than "I'm a chemist." Anyone else have stories of crossing borders and what that's like as a chemist?