In my (R1) graduate department and among friends/colleagues, I know several new hires who have deferred their start date by a year or more - one to finish clinical internship, one to finish a postdoc, one to allow time for a spouse to relocate, and one to have a baby. I'm wondering how common this is, and whether you know of any schools that will not allow candidates to negotiate in order to defer a position. For example, I imagine a SLAC may not be as generous as an R1 when it comes to pushing the start date back by a year or more?
Date: 15 Jan 2011 04:24
Number of posts: 5
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No one? No one? I'm asking this question because I'm trying to figure out how best to time a pregnancy in conjunction with the next year's job market. Ideal scenario would be to wait to get pregnant until interview season is over (since I was seasick during much of my last pregnancy!), but that would have me delivering very close to the start of the following academic year. As I mentioned above, I've seen quite a few people in my department defer their start date by a year or more, in some cases because of pregnancy, but I have no idea how common this is in the outside world. I would be focusing on SLACs, and I don't know whether this is something they would consider.
I know of a couple people who deferred their start dates; one deferred for a year at an R1 to finish some postdoc work and the other deferred for six months at a SLAC mainly to give his significant other time to graduate. However, I cannot speak to how common this is or how different institutions view it.
I believe it varies position-to-position depending on the needs of the department and flexibility of the administration.
I would advise you to wait to (try to)have the child until you're sure of where you'll be for 18 months+. 1 year is cutting it really close and as you won't qualify for maternity leave for a baby born prior to your start date could prove problematic if things do not go smoothly.