Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, I am incredibly thankful for my family, my friends, my community (physical and online) and my job.

I am also incredibly thankful for you, my readers and commenters. Thank you for your reading, your advice, your e-mails and your brilliant, insightful comments. I am truly blessed.

My family and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving with plenty of food, family and laughter and if you're not in the United States, a happy Thursday and Friday! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The 2016 ACS Form 990

 This was 2016's form 990. (Here's 2015's form 990 and here's 2014's form 990.)

For comparison's sake, Madeleine Jacobs was paid $888,199 in reportable compensation in 2015. This was the first full year that current ACS CEO Thomas Connelly has had his compensation reported. He was paid $893,157 in 2016. Nice work if you can get it.

Looks like reportable compensation for the highest-paid ACS officers trended down between 2015 and 2016.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 441 positions

The 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 441 positions.

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

On November 18, 2016, the 2017 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 482 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.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 32 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 32 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, November 20, 2017

Playing the Long Game, by QHV

I'm pleased to host an essay by a long-time reader and friend of the blog about their job search: 
After an arduous, demoralizing, post-Great Recession period of unemployment, underemployment, and job hunting, I wanted to share some happy, hopeful news: I recently landed a new job that I am excited about. It’s more than just a new job, really...this is a return to R&D and a major boost in career trajectory, quality of life, and overall work satisfaction, not to mention pay, all bundled into the culmination of a very difficult decade.  
The way this happened was unexpected and surprising to me. I have, until now, assumed that if you didn’t follow a particular prescribed path (find a job posting, apply for the job, get a phone interview, get a site interview, receive an offer) to getting hired, then you were either gaming the system or cheating. That must have been incredibly na├»ve of me. I veered from that sequence during my home stretch, achieving my desired outcome, but getting what I ultimately wanted didn’t feel like manipulation or cheating at all; it was hard work and it made sense to me. You are welcome to tell me if you disagree. It won’t subdue my elation.   
I am a former synthetic chemist. In the mid-2000s, I was truly thrilled to be doing medicinal chemistry. I enjoyed bench work, the companionship of fellow chemists, and the fact that I was doing what I wanted to do and had been educated to do…but in 2008 my position (like many folks’) vanished, and I ended up briefly unemployed before taking a string of less-than-interesting positions. These jobs were only tangentially related to my love of chemistry and they paid much less. I hesitate to use the term drudgery, but…let’s put it this way: perpetually looking forward to the end of the day and the end of the work week can be a pretty miserable way to live a life.   

Friday, November 17, 2017

View From Your Hood: November morning edition

Credit: John Milligan
From reader John Milligan: "The sun rises behind the Cathedral of Learning on a November morning at the University of Pittsburgh."

(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.)

More good job search advice from other experienced chemists

I recently had the honor of interviewing Derek Lowe about his recent job search; it's been published at Chemical and Engineering News. In the comments below my column, a very nice comment from another experienced chemist, Paul E. Eckler: 
After 10 years or so out of school, you find yourself competing with recent graduates if you stick with the basic skills you learned in school. Recent graduates work cheaply. Competition can be tough. 
Usually it’s the experience shown on your resume that gets you an interview. The recent graduate may be very sharp, but he/she needs some time to become productive in many job situations. Hiring experienced people means I want someone who can make immediate contributions and not require much training. 
In hiring people I usually have others looking over my shoulder. My requirements are often very specific in terms of experience needed. It also helps to have worked for leaders in the industry (often competitors or customers). Previous employers matter and can be a plus as long as non-competes don’t get in the way. 
After 10 years you probably have specialized in certain areas. If yours are fields in demand, job searching will be easier. Specialized experience can be valuable, but it may take time to find the right employer. 
After 10 years you also tend to be in upper salary brackets. That makes you more vulnerable in cost cutting layoffs. Unless of course you are a key player in a major project. 
Networking is often listed as a key for the mid career professional looking for work. People you have worked with over the years know your accomplishments and reputation. They can be sources of opportunities. They may well know who is hiring and what they are looking for. Do let your friends know you are looking. 
Don’t forget to consider temp agencies. Manpower and Kelley Scientific, to name two, have listings for temp professionals including chemists. Their salaries are negotiable. Some companies prefer to hire temps. Temping is a opportunity to show what you can do. 
Guard against negative thoughts while you are looking. Depression can be a problem. Find some people you can relax with and talk it out. Finding that next job can take time, but most of us find something. Keep your chin up.
I always hold the temp agencies at bit at arm's length, but your mileage may vary. Also, I really commend the concerns around depression and having a group of friends that you can talk about your job loss with. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 139 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list has 139 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.)

19 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 19 new positions posted for November 9 and November 15.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 52 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 52 positions.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The story of Job

Via Twitter. Written by Curtis Perry, with inspiration by Joseph A. Howley (reproduced with their permission): 
There was a person in the land of grad school, whose name was Job; and that person was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil and had written 4 of 5 chapters. Job's substance also was two peer-reviewed journal articles; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From the search committee. 
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a published and an upright man? 
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Hath Job submitted an application? If so, he will come to curse thee to thy face. 
And there was a day when the search committee met  
And there came an automated email unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: so send a writing sample, a teaching statement, a cover letter, and a dossier of recommendation immediately. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, your funding is running out and and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, There is only one position in your field, so good luck with that. 
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and tweeted. 
And said, unpublished came I out of my mother's womb, and unemployed shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. 
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth 
And Satan answered the Lord, and said, The committee hath not completed its deliberations. So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with delaying. 
And he took him a group office to comfort himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. 
Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they were secretly hoping that they could get the interview with Satan instead. 
After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said,
Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
Let the day of my first seminar be remembered in darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
For now should I have lain still and been quiet, or just played video games, or gone to law school.
I have seen the foolish taking root and earning tenure: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
What is my strength, that I should hope? What is my methodological innovation that I should hope to be noticed?
Is there iniquity in my chapter? cannot my heuristic discern perverse things?
When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth His rec letter misrepresent my defense date?
I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me rewrite chapter 3 and change annotation style; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? 
Then spake Zophar the Placement Officer, and said,
Canst thou while searching call out God? hast thou edited thy materials as I said?
If thou prepare thine dissertation abstract, and stretch out thine hands toward him
then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:
But the dossiers of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost. 
And Job answered and said
I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn. The tabernacles of unpublishing full professors prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly. 
ye are forgers of lies, ye are all theoreticians of no value. 
And where is now my hope? as for my writing sample, who shall see it? 
Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 
Gird up thy loins in a newly purchased and not too ostentatious suit; I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Canst thou describe 3 years of hard thinking in 5 minutes of high-stakes interview? Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? 
I shall give thee an interview, though it shall cost all thou hast left to attend it. 
Then Job answered the Lord, and said, 
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. But I say unto you "my dissertation intervenes in.."
After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. And surprisingly few daughters. Especially at the rank of full Professor.
 Thank you to Curtis and Joseph for their permission.