Friday, April 3, 2009

Whoa, diss!

I'm applying for back-up postdoc funding in case I don't get a faculty job next year. I had 4 committee members, two of whom were helpful. One was my main advisor. The other active member was the only committee member I fully liked and respected and appreciated their feedback --- really looked up to them. Never worked with them other than on my dissertation paper revisions, but I just really liked them.

This person wrote a recommendation for me and wouldn't put it on file in a dossier service, but said I should ask whenever I needed it. Of course not planning ahead very well, I never did ask because I was always asking too late to expect them to be able to do anything. Now I am planning ahead, starting an application several months before it's due (go me!), and so when I asked if they could update the letter they said no.

The first response was: you really should ask someone at your institution. When I replied that actually they request people from grad school, the second response was that they didn't have time. I thanked them and said I thought I could find someone since the deadline was so far off.

But I feel really stung, especially since I like them so much.

I felt like everything had been going so well. And, otherwise, it is.


Psych Post Doc said...

Did you mention that you had a couple of months before you'd need the letter? It seems like asking for a letter a couple of months beforehand would give them plenty of time to update the letter no matter how busy they were.

Do you think that maybe they never wrote the letter to begin with? And therefore it's not a matter of updating but a matter of writing the actually letter.

JZ said...

I know that they did write at least something because it was for a fellowship that updated me on the progress with the letter. (It didn't arrive when it was due, so I had to send reminders, and stayed in touch with them until it finally came.) I didn't get the fellowship, so maybe it was not a good letter.

Yes, I did mention that I wouldn't need it until late summer in my final email, so that if it had been a misunderstanding about timing they would write me back and say "Oh I didn't realize the time-frame was so far off."