Faculty Hiring Questions

Information for potential applicants for faculty searches in PBS

 

Search Advocates

Sometimes, job applicants and candidates have questions about what a department’s culture is like and what it’s like to live and work at a particular institution/town given its demographic composition and other socio-cultural characteristics. People may want to ask questions like these in confidence, outside the context of the formal search committee. The following PBS faculty, who are not on the search committee, are happy to serve as such contacts (i.e., be search advocates). We encourage potential applicants and candidates to reach out to these faculty if they have such questions.

Contact information for search advocates to ask questions about the hiring process, department, campus, and Bloomington:

 

Research

  • The startup package for new assistant professors includes research funds that are highly competitive with our peer institutions.
  • The startup package includes costs of renovating laboratory space as necessary.
  • Time for research is prioritized for early-level faculty by limiting committee and other service work in their pre-tenure years.
  • The department is very supportive of early-level faculty and is very collaborative overall.
  • IU provides considerable funding to the department for graduate students (i.e., only about half of our students are funded through awards, grants, etc.). These institutional funds are given through student academic appointments (SAA; almost all are teaching assistantships). Our practice is to share these appointments equitably, which means that new assistant professors can recruit graduate students to their labs with relatively attractive stipends before acquiring funding sources of their own to provide stipends for students.
  • In addition to the NIMH-funded T32 clinical translational science research training grant, clinical students can also be supported by NIDA T32 and NICHD T32 training grants if their research is of sufficient match.
  • IU has two “core” campuses, IU Bloomington (IUB), which is the oldest and largest, and IU Indianapolis (IUI), which is in Indianapolis next to the IU School of Medicine (IUSoM). Collaborations between IUB, IUI, and IUSoM are encouraged and our department actively engages in these collaborations.

 

Teaching

  • Teaching load is no more than three (3 credit) courses per year – 2 courses one semester and 1 course the other semester.
  • Pre-tenure faculty are typically encouraged to teach one large undergraduate “service” course (80+ students), one small undergraduate course in your area of research expertise (<30 students), and a graduate course. Options are available to take over an existing course and/or develop a new course completely. Semester-long practicum supervision (e.g., in clinical science) to 5 or more students is credited as a graduate course.
  • Teaching the same course multiple semesters and multiple years is encouraged to minimize time spent on preparation and to measure a trajectory of improved teaching.
  • The startup package for new assistant professors typically includes 3 pre-tenure course releases in line with aims to protect research time during this early stage.

 

Tenure + Promotion

  • Tenure criteria are relatively transparent and we are currently updating them to be even more transparent.
  • Every assistant and associate professor is assigned a three-person “advancement and promotion” (A&P) committee that mentors them from hiring to tenure and promotion to associate professor and subsequent promotion to full professor.
  • The A&P committee meets at least once per year to provide feedback about the faculty’s progress and trajectory toward tenure/promotion
  • For the “third-year review”, the A&P committee provides even more thorough feedback.
  • The goal of the department is to hire faculty who will be successful in their scholarly responsibilities, enjoy their work, remain on our faculty, and become productive full professors.

 

Bloomington

  • Close to three metropolitan centers: one hour to Indianapolis (55 minutes to IND international airport); 1.75 hours to Louisville, KY; and 2.5 hours to Cincinnati, OH
  • High salary relative to cost of living
  • High quality of life
  • IU has a flexible remote work policy
  • Family friendly
  • Bloomington Public Transit is free for faculty
  • IU is the home to a world-renowned school of music and theatre departments, hosting over a thousand performances each year. In addition, you'll find some of the best shows from Broadway each year at the IU Auditorium.
  • IU is part of Big Ten athletics. Our swimming and diving squads are perennially among the nation’s best. The Women's basketball team advanced to their first Elite Eight showing during the 2021 NCAA tournament. In 2020, for the 15th time in program history the Men's soccer team made it to NCAA championship game. The men’s baseball team won the Big Ten Championship in 2019. The Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team.

 

Diversity + Inclusion

Indiana University President Pamela Whitten is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Shortly after her arrival in summer of 2021, she launched a 7-year, $30 million Presidential Diversity Hiring Initiative. In the first cohort of 103 Bloomington tenure-track faculty hired since the launch of this program, 48% identify as people of color, 53% women, and they represent 18 different countries. Annual reports on the state of diversity at Indiana University and its campuses may be found here.

As with the campus, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS) is committed to fostering a community of diverse faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff from across a wide range of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability status, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and other forms of difference. PBS values diversity, equity, and inclusion as core strengths and essential elements of its mission.

  • However, looking at the faculty bios page, you notice that the faculty is largely white men. The tenure-track faculty consists of only 31% women and only 12% BIPOC. We have done better recruiting a diverse graduate student body, with our most recent cohort consisting of 71% BIPOC and 60% women. Across the department’s entire graduate student body, 39% identify as BIPOC, 63% as women, and 15% from historically underrepresented groups.
  • Diversity is critical to the success of our department—it makes our research collaborations better, provides us with a broader range of research approaches, helps us make better governance decisions, helps us mentor and teach our graduate and undergraduate students better, and helps us better serve our community and state.
  • Results from our annual departmental climate survey and a recent self-study of hiring outcomes have convinced the faculty that our search practices must include more evidence-based principles to broaden the applicant pool.
  • We have made some progress in the last 20 years using the traditional hiring methods; the number of women TT faculty has risen from 24% to 31% and the number of BIPOC TT faculty has risen from 0% to 12%. However, those small increases are disappointing and the current numbers do not reflect the department’s stated commitment to diversity and inclusion. Recognition of this incongruence by the faculty was an important motivator for adopting more evidence-based search principles.
  • Because, we aren’t yet where we’d like to be with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, now and going forward, we will work harder to recruit and retain more faculty and graduate students who are women, BIPOC, and other minoritized groups, as well as people who engage in research relating to diversity and health disparities. See our page on recent actions for some promising examples of changes to department policy and practice. We are committed to making the Psychological and Brain Sciences department a diverse and inclusive place, where all faculty, fellows, staff, and students feel that they belong and can thrive and succeed.