purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
For the past few years my job status has been permanent insecure, meaning that my post was funded by money from grants and should those grants end without another being obtained then I would be made redundant. As of 1st September, half my time will be permanent secure meaning they need a better reason than the money has run out to sack me.

As of 1st September for half my time I will be a Knowledge Exchange Support Officer which means my job will be turning my Lego Rovers public understanding activity into an Impact Case for the 2020 REF. The other half of my time will continue to be a permanent insecure job as a postdoc on the Verifiable Autonomy grant.

I'm fairly sure this was prompted the fact I started looking for lectureship jobs earlier this year and so some money was found in order to keep my in place to work on the Impact Case. So it's sort of nice to be wanted, though it would also have been nice to have got an interview for one of the lectureships. That said, this wasn't a done deal. I had an interview today with a five person panel consisting of the head of school (of computer science and electrical and electronic engineering), both heads of department (CS and EEE), the university head of impact and the school manager.

The job does allow me to apply for grants in my own name, however, so the opportunity is there for me to turn this into a full time academic post (with a heavy emphasis on public engagement) if I can make that work out.

Still, Yay! for being half time permanent secure!!!
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
I just sent off my last of three job applications which have seen me wrestling with the complexities of various personnel websites. Actually this last one, University of Central Lancashire, was fairly straightforward apart from the fact they supplied no email address to which the application should be sent. In the end I emailed it to Human Resources, and am debating whether to post a hard copy first class later today (deadline is 4pm Friday). Liverpool managed to have their person specification in docx format, this is, apparently, Microsoft's new "portable" document format - portable, that is, if your word processing software is up-to-the-minute, but not otherwise. In the end B managed to print it out using a recently updated version of Pages, while my sister tried installing Word updates in case she needed to email it to me. Salford was the most exciting though. The deadline was 2nd January and, of course, I didn't start paying attention until after Christmas at which point their website was down and all email was bouncing (this eventually turned out to be their spam-blocker rather than a network fault). We were all geared to print out and fill in the application on the 2nd (when the university was due to re-open for business and presumably someone would notice and fix their web server) and then drive over and deliver it in person when the website suddenly reappeared on New Year's day and I was able to submit it - although I never did see their Person Specification which was nowhere to be found on the website when I looked, but at least I got an application form.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (agents)
Google are trying to recruit me again. I say "again" because they tried to recruit me earlier this year but then changed their minds after the second interview - which involved lots of technical stuff about Unix shell scripting and java programming. I can't quite decide what to make of this (apart from the fact that having the words "semantic web" on your web page seems to attact Google like wasps to honey). I sent a polite email back suggesting they check their records and get back to me and they responded almost immediately with a "useful to know we've interviewed you before - please go through the process again".

Problem is, my skill set is not really any different now to how it was 6 months ago and the interview process, always assuming they were actually interested in how well I knew my way around the more esoteric details of Unix and Java, seemed perfectly fair to me - I certainly didn't end up feeling I hadn't had an adequate chance to demonstrate my knowledge of the subject or my ability to solve problems on the fly. Given that we are talking a job in Dublin or Zurich and, although I enjoyed the actual interviews, I didn't much enjoy the sitting by the phone waiting for the interview to start (not to mention the fact that they failed to call on the right day once) and I found them quite draining, I'm kind of umming and ahhing about this. Preparing a non-academic CV is quite a lot of work since I have to rethink my whole approach to CVs (I've observed that businesses tend to expect your CV to fit into two pages and so forth) and the last one I sent was one of the few things that I irretrievably lost when my hard drive went phoom last winter. Google sounds like a really good place to work but going through the application process again seems like quite a lot of effort for a job which, on past experience, I probably won't get and which, due to location, I might not be able to accept even if I did get it,

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