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Update on our faculty search in particle theory December 10, 2010

Posted by apetrov in Particle Physics, Physics, Science.
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The deadline for applications for an Assistant Professorship in theoretical particle physics at WSU is December 15, five days from today. So far we received 44 applications.

Is that a lot? Well, it depends. According to some of my friends at SLAC, they receive upwards of 400 applications for their postdoctoral positions. I regularly receive about 50-60 applications for postdoctoral position — when I have one. While the numbers are not important (as long as the applicants are great — and they are!), we were planning for about 100 applications for our faculty position. Of course, WSU is not Harvard or Stanford. Also, Detroit is not Boston or Palo Alto. And, the future assistant professor would have to work more to get recognized in the field — the name of the institution will not be of much help. But this position will give that person a chance to define the program. And this person will not be alone. There is Sean Gavin (nuclear theorist), there would be another nuclear theorist next year (we also have a search for an Assistant Professor in theoretical nuclear physics) — and then, according to the Strategic Plan adopted by our Department, a theoretical cosmologist will be hired in a couple of years.All of that makes our position quite attractive.

So, what’s going to happen next? The Search Committee will meet shortly after December 15 to take initial look at the application pool. We will select a “long short lost” of 20 applicants and ask them to submit their application materials to the University’s job management system (a new requirement). Then we’ll select top five from the list of that twenty and invite them for interviews on campus.

This is an interesting year for physics at WSU. There are four (4!!!) searches going on in the physics department — particle theory, nuclear theory, nuclear experiment (heavy ion collisions — WSU has one of the largest groups in relativistic heavy ions in the US), and observational astronomy. Hopefully, we will get good people. I’ll keep you updated.

Update: we have 61 applications in our pool as of Dec 15 that we started to look at. The first serious meeting of the search committee will be in the first week of the new year.

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