Not that I wasn’t before of course, my time in Munich was a postdoctoral position, in addition to that in Beijing and technically I’m a lecturer in Dublin. However, in China there is a formal postdoctoral position so you can go from a BSc to MSc to PhD and then on again to, well whatever the acronym for this is supposed to be. Despite having left Beijing six months ago, I had kinda, never formally left.
The job in Dublin came up at such short notice that I had to leave fast and there was not time for me to complete the paperwork and jump through various hoops before I had to go. The fact that various senior people who needed to sign off on my time etc. were all in the field only made this more impossible. So my current return to Beijing was in fact mostly so that I could leave, properly this time.
I’m off on Monday back to the Emerald Isle and my ‘proper’ day job, but I’m returning with some kind of something that I didn’t have before. Like most academics I don’t really use any of my various degrees in any great way and it still sounds odd when people call me ‘Dr Hone’. Still I am proud of having a BSc, MSc and PhD (and yes, some of you may also be aware that I am a DIC and have the certificate to prove it) but sadly my Chinese postdoc doesn’t come with three obvious letters to follow on from these so this post aside, I’m not sure anyone will ever realise. Or care.
Self important though all this may sound, it is perhaps worth musing on the fact that there are lots of odd little qualifications out there and in the increasing international nature of research and people moving between jobs at a global level the fact that some have an MSc and others and MSci, or you have you Habilitation or whatever must cause at least a bit of confusion. Assessing candidates for positions when they are loaded with qualifications you have never heard of or are unsure how the rank with regards to the more obvious ones. Certainly I had huge trouble applying for a job in the US when their online system demanded I provide my GPA when we simply don’t have them in Europe, and a colleague of mine struggled to include a photocopy of her PhD certificate because hers was from Argentina and was about 4 times the size of a normal one and when shrunk to size lost the required resolution. Recruitment panels beware!