Friday Funnies

Friday Funnies: What does an academic job advertisment really mean?

The truth behind that job advertisement for a lectureship/assistant professorship

Location: Somewhere you don’t want to live
Salary: Nowhere near enough given the ridiculous number of qualifications you have
Contract type: Full-time permanent*
Interview Date: 
Don’t worry, you probably won’t make this stage

 *”Permanent” refers to your expected working hours on campus, NOT your job security, benefits, healthcare etc.


We are seeking a candidate to replace an academic that went senile over 20 years ago, but who has only just retired.

Candidate Evaluation

The candidate must have a PhD from an institution where ivy grows up the sides of old historic buildings and 5-10 years of postdoctoral experience with all the world-experts in their chosen research area. The successful candidate will have published every experiment that they have performed in the last 10-15 years, and some that they did not (only publications in  Science or Nature will be considered valid). The candidate is expected to spend their days teaching undergraduates, and their nights working towards developing a world-class research career – it will obviously be advantageous if the candidate does not have friends, family, hobbies or eyelids. The candidate will have an enthusiasm for teaching**.

**Demonstrating this enthusiasm once you have the job will result in zero career progression and incessant mocking from colleagues.



Application Process

Enquiries should be directed to our overworked secretary, Mavis; she will probably lose it first time around, so send a second enquiry about 1 week after you submit the first one. When applying, please submit your curriculum vitae – the heavier the better; anything that can be picked up by a single person, or can be read in less than 2 weeks will not be considered.


Five lucky candidates, who meet the ridiculous criteria stated above, will be invited to be pummeled (verbally and physically) by a pack of cantankerous academics. Candidates will then be locked in a room together with a single 2×4 coated in barbed-wire. The last one left breathing will be given the job.

Further information:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer. However, we are not very good at this: white, socially awkward males with excessive facial hair are preferred; females will only be considered if they demonstrate absolutely no desire to start a family.

reprinted with permission from David Alridge, PhD student and Marine biologist, from his blog, Words in mOcean.


3 thoughts on “Friday Funnies: What does an academic job advertisment really mean?

  1. I wish the ‘white, socially awkward males with excessive facial hair’ were still true. I might stand a chance.

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