avoid junior faculty advisors
Scatterplot has a wonderful series where people can ask questions about grad school. This week’s question: should I work with a junior faculty advisor? In general, no, for the following reasons:
- Senior faculty are more experienced and can help you out more.
- They have have superior networks at journals, granting agencies, and departments.
- Name recognition matters for hiring and publication early in your career.
- Less likely to leave because of promotion problems or being stolen by another campus.
- You have more information about whether they’d be good as a mentor.
Here are the benefits of a junior advisor:
- They are desperate to publish and can pull you up with them.
- They often have a good grip on cutting edge ideas, especially in quickly changing fields.
Go with the junior faculty if there are no reasonable choices among the senior faculty and you can either (a) finish the diss before the junior faculty leaves, or (b) you can be fairly confident that they will still support you should they move to another campus. Don’t forget, you can always have both junior and senior folks on your committee.
Bonus round: Excellent blogger and legal scholar Belle Lettre is guesting at Scatterplot.