I have been told that a uni is very close to making an offer but they wanted to know my salary requirements and start-up requirements before they present the offer. After giving them some initial figures, they returned a week later to ask how much grant money I will be bringing with me. Then, a week later, to say that they are still very close to making an offer but now want an itemized list to justify my start-up figures, noting that I may not need everything in the list because some things are paid for by the uni. Does anyone else think this is unusual? I think it may put me at a disadvantage to be negotiating from the position of not even having an offer and not knowing what the other parameters of the offer will look like. Is it acceptable to say that I want to see the whole initial offer before doing further negotiating?
Date: 27 Oct 2015 20:23
Number of posts: 5
RSS: New posts
I had this same request when I was negotiating (not salary, but the start-up piece). I don't think you're really negotiating right now. They are simply asking what you need. Ask for everything under the moon that you think you need…go as high as you can, within reason. And then let the negotiations begin.
I think it could be scary to think you are pricing yourself out of an offer…but be realistic (i.e., don't ask for an MRI machine if you don't really need one). If you are being reasonable and they can't meet your needs, then it may not be meant to be.
They obviously like you and they want you.
An alternative….ask them what the rough starting package typically is. They know this….most unis have a standard package.
I had one school try to do that. A couple ways to handle it:
My startup costs and expected salary are generally in line with assistant professors in social psychology at SLAC/R1/R2/whatever schools. I am happy to provide detailed proposal if I am formally offered a position. I am very excited about the position and look forward to working with the Dean and Chair to determine the best set up to ensure that I can hit the ground running with a research program that will enable me to further develop an impactful research program at X university.
Another way is to talk with the chair about what offers have been like and what the norm is. USUALLY the chair is on your side to try to get the most money and funding as possible, it's in the departments best interest for you to thrive.
My understanding is that this common in neuroscience, and some psych departments do it. I can't say I like the practice, though.
Keep in mind that it may be difficult for you to significantly raise your request after the offer … unless of course you have a better competing offer.
Agree NewProj. This is how our psych department handles it and several of my friends had similar issues.
Again, my advice is to ask the chair what the norm is (this is something I actually do during the interview so I can gauge what kind of research I could possibly do). What kind of package did their previous hire get?
Most universities have numbers in mind of what the typical starting salary and start-up package is.