+3 votes
asked ago in Job Market - Candidate Questions by (420 points)
I graduated in 2017 and took a government job.  I'm going back on the market this fall.  My employer (a regulatory agency) I took doesn't allocate any time for research or allow us to publish work produced in the course of our jobs.  Should I mention this, either in my cover letter or during interviews?  Most of the people I know in government have at least 1 day per week to spend on their own research.  I've managed to get my JMP published in a good journal and have a couple other working papers, but all my research has been on my own time.

4 Answers

+2 votes
answered ago by (610 points)
Probably not but you could bring this up in the interview. Generally it would be expected you maybe spent a little side time on research (e.g. a few hours a week), which if you were research focused you would. Given what you have achieved already it sounds like you have done this for sure and more. So in the interview you should mention you were highly constrained on reseaerch time in work so this was all done on the weekends.
+1 vote
answered ago by (3.5k points)
You can also spin this as a positive. The reason you want to move is that you like to do research and your job doesn't provide anytime to do it. The fact that you've nonetheless done new work makes this a positive rather than an excuse.
+2 votes
answered ago by (3.3k points)
I did this in my own transition back to academia.  I got some pubs and r&r's and found my way back.  

Cover letter won't matter and its just risky to put anything on there other than a geographic preference (if you have one).  In the interview you can mention it in a positive as others have said.  You love research so much it is your leisure right now, and you'll do even better with more time.  You can mention it to your letter writers who can write about this with the right tone.
+1 vote
answered ago by (160 points)
You can ask one of your letter writers to comment on it if you really want to include it.