Negotiating a Job Offer

Negotiating a Job Offer

Negotiating a Job Offer

Richard Carlson, Lara Wagner, Peter van Keken (with input from Anat Shahar and Steve Shirey)

March 13, 2018


Negotiating a Job Offer requires a lot of preparation.  Know what you need in order to attain tenure:  publications, grant money, students who graduate, etc.  Do not accept the job offer until after you have a written contract that specifies your start up package, which was obtained through your negotiations.

  • Space (office: make sure you see the office you will be provided and location of the lab; grad student office space; etc.)
  • Research Support (equipment, lab support technicians...)
  • Startup Package (how long do you have to spend it?)
  • Start Date
  • Moving Expenses
  • Salary (female applicants should request equal pay; do a comparison with professors in your field)
  • Tangibles (ask for what you want; the university has already invested a lot of its time to get to this point)

Universities want you to succeed in getting tenure (3-5 years).  Negotiate with them what you need to publish and reach that goal.  Start-up requests for equipment also means the University gets "new toys" and departments can share the cost of your instrument needs.  Have a ball-park idea of what it will cost for you to do your research; what is the bare minimum you need to do your research.  Be sure to negotiate the important commodity of TIME so that you can balance teaching with your research, with writing papers, participating in committees, attending conferences, etc.

Do not overask.  Know the university's limitations.  Work with them. 

Remember:  Get everything in WRITING!  If you have been negotiating over the phone, follow-up with an e-mail summarizing what was offered.  Make sure that the contract you sign has everything you need towards your goal of attaining tenure.