I need your help wiki-ites. my husband and I are dual career academics, both in the same field. We have wanted for some time to move back to the city where our families live. We were successful in landing a great job for my husband in said location ; he is living in my parents basement for the time being. I am many states away, at a TT position at an R1, where I have been for the past 3 years. I don't really like it there, but I do like the fact that I have several great research projects going and have been building a strong research portfolio. My goal is to move to the desired location by August of this year.
I have been looking for jobs (academic and research) in the desired city, but started late in the game (academic calendar had pretty much closed). I have a small NIH grant that is likely coming my way in July, which I think has helped.
I recently had an informational meeting at a research foundation in the desired location, and the place is a perfect fit for me. I really liked it. Lots of grant writing and paper writing, and that's pretty much it. I love the work that is being done.
Here is where I need your advice. I had contacted the director of this foundation out of the blue over a month ago, inquiring about any open positions. There were and are none listed on the website. But he agreed to set up this meeting, stating that "things always come open." From my conversations, it seems that they have considered initially placing me in a project coordinator position for a new R01 that is being funded, that my (potential) grant could buy out some other part of time, and I would hopefully be writing my own grants (collaboratively, with the group) to support myself like the rest of the investigators. I don't know if I would be compromising too much if I took a project coordinator position or if its a good foot in the door. Of all the interviews I have had so far, this is the place I like the most. I am waiting to hear about one TT position that I had interviewed for….but to be honest, I really do not like teaching, so there are aspects of TT I don't need to continue.
Here are the issues. First , they are offering $30K less than what I make now…and the desired location is one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Second, the "ego" part of me feels so undesired to come in as a project coordinator, after having 3 years on a tenure clock. There are other investigators at the foundation who are 5 years my junior, who have better titles, and who do not have to coordinate projects…they just get to write the grants. Third, I do not know how much time they will give me to write grants. If I am a project coordinator, that probably means 40 hours of my week are dedicated to working on that project. I would have to negotiate and/or ask more questions, for the potential for more salary, and protected research time.
Since I am asking for a job that does not really exist, how do I go about "negotiating" for these things? and what ways can I ask for the things that I need (such as protected time to work on grants). Does anyone have any creative ideas? Can I ask for a higher salary, with the expectation that they will not "fill it" initially, and that I would work to fill the salary level? Can I ask for a title other than Project Coordinator, etc? does this sound like a really bad idea?
I hope I'm making sense! I need your help and advice!