I'm currently working on negotiations, and thought I would crowd source this. I am negotiating the common things like salary, startup, course releases, etc. I'm wondering if there are other things I should be thinking about. Student funding is provided by the dept, so that's not an issue. Summer salary is included as part of the startup package, so also not an issue. What are some other good things to negotiate? Things that others may not have thought of… but would wish they had :)
Date: 15 Jan 2016 13:41
Number of posts: 15
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In terms of start-up, don't just negotiate for $ amounts but also for duration of time to use it. Many schools will push you down to a limited time range but you want to have access to money for as long as you can.
Great point! I hadn't thought of that. Out of curiosity, do people generally negotiate via phone or email? I like the idea of phone, but I also feel like it's good to provide a detailed rationale for the changes, which makes email more feasible.
I think it's good to use a combination of e-mail and phone. You can talk to them about what you want, and then write an e-mail "we agreed on…". Or you can use e-mail as the initial way to introduce something.
You can also ask for personnel — RAs or postdocs. Keep in mind that they cost twice as much as their salaries due to benefits.
In the startup, don't forget —
1) all of the computers you want, including a laptop for you if they give you a desktop for your office
2) travel & membership money (the school probably won't give you enough per year)
3) journal publishing fees
4) find out whether furniture is covered
If you'll be teaching something you haven't taught before in your first year, you can ask for $ to prep the course.
I'm assuming this is an R1 level?
1. Ask for an RA to serve as project manager for at least the first year. You can do a student hire to save money on benefits, but won't be as good as a post-bac hire.
2. Negotiate for access to graduate students in year 1. Can you select a student now to start in the fall? It will make your life so much easier.
3. Every piece of equipment you can think of and contemplate extended service agreements (or at least tech support)
4. Computers and ask about whether lab computers will be on the university replacement plan (otherwise you could run into trouble in 4-5 years)
5. Course reductions in the first few years
A) Definitely try to negotiate for splitting start up funds across 3-4 years. I found this HUGELY helpful
B) Limited number of preps (e.g., no more than 1 new prep per year) or specific classes first year you really want to teach. Many universities give you first choice of teaching by default, but nice to have that option.
You haven't mentioned space. Long-term, space can be a major constraint. You can't hire postdocs if you have nowhere to put them.
You say grad student funding is provided, but are you going to be allowed to take students? How many? Usually, there aren't enough slots for everyone who wants one.
How common is it to be asked to provide specific dollar amounts for different elements of a startup package before being extended an offer? I was recently asked to do this at the interview stage but was unprepared to give specific details before knowing what the department could and could not offer. I also worry that giving specific dollar amounts now may have negative effects on my ability to negotiate if I am extended an offer. Any advice on this?
I've been asked for ballpark amounts. But not a detailed startup.