On hunting an academic job

Today, Julien Milli talked about his academic career path in ESO. He offers many useful suggestions which are especially helpful for people working in observatories.

The first thing that we astronomers should keep in mind is that we are privileged to be astronomers. We are able to do what we like as a career, and make a living with that.


Here I made a list of some of them which I think are inspiring.

  • Time management
    • preserve the science time;
    • keep a healthy lifestyle (!);
    • manage the priority, there’s always more to do;
  • Need to find a role model.
  • Independently build new collaborations, extended research areas.
    • Some institutes downgrade if there is a large overlap with your Ph.D. advisor in publications.
  • Build a tie with the future institute and team
    • Look for support from a team/institute and present your work there
    • Build a project in agreement with the institute’s priorities/research area
  • Keep a good publication record
    • Quality and quantity
  • Keep strong involvement with the European community & instruments
  • Maintain a good connection with ESO, with the people there
    • In the case of ALMA, via instrumentation? Data reduction technique?
  • The advantage of having 50% duty works
    • Knowing the instrument helps with making the best of the data — best quality of data reduction and debugging the data
    • Using the chance to find more collaborations with a good knowledge of the observatory

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