Resources for two-body challenges

When love happens between two academics, job-hunting together is a necessity and can be tough.
Published in Protocols & Methods
Resources for two-body challenges
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Universities are changing their approaches. Yes, that's a mouthful but it's happening related to the situations in which one academic looking for a job also has another person in their life looking for a job. The two people may be married or not, but they know they want to stay together and advance their careers.

Academia is changing, although not always as fast as some would like. And so navigating that  the 'two-body challenges' is changing. Here is a a story I wrote a story for Nature Methods about navigating two-body challenges for which a number of people commented:

Moura Quayle, vice-provost and associate vice-president of academic affairs at University of British Columbia;

 Rachel Croson, vice president and university provost as well as Andrea Yanego, director of talent acquisition both from the University of Minnesota,

and Pedro Martínez, a faculty member at University of Barcelona talked about his experience. 

I thought I would share some resources related to this topic and will keep adding to them. Please feel free to contact me or comment below about others that could be included. 

A brochure called Advance at the University of Michigan offers advice about faculty searches and hiring. One recommendation related to the language used to announce open positions is to state 'The University is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.'

While it is critical that women and minority candidates be treated first and foremost as the scholars they are, it is equally important that search committees and departments understand the importance of dual career considerations in recruiting women and underrepresented minority faculty in science and engineering. If your search committee and department chair are willing to do their best to help place qualified spouses and partners, you might consider including the following statement in the ads for positions: “The University is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.”

At the same time, it is critical that all search committees recognize that it is inappropriate and illegal for individuals’ marital or family status to affect evaluation of their application. Knowledge—or guesses—about these matters may not play any role in the committee’s deliberation about candidates’ qualifications or the construction of the shortlist. All committee members should recognize this and help maintain a proper focus in committee deliberations, but of course the committee chair has a special responsibility to ensure that the discussion excludes any inappropriate considerations. 

The report was published in the context of  the university's NSF ADVANCE grant and the Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) Committee has looked into ways to address recruiting women and other minorities who are under-represented among the faculty, including racial and ethnic minorities, sexual  minorities and people with disabilities. 

A non-comprehensive list of programs and resources related to dual-career couples

Stanford University

In 2008, Londa Schiebinger, Andrea Davies Henderson and Shannon Gilmartin from Stanford's Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research published a report "Academic couples. What Universities Should know. Among the many aspects in this report are three reasons why universities should take a "new look" at couple hiring:

Our study suggests that couples more and more vote with their feet, leaving or not considering universities that do not support them. Support for dual careers opens another avenue by which universities can compete for the best and brightest....

New hiring practices are needed to support a diverse professoriate—and one of these practices is couple hiring. 

Faculty may be more productive and more loyal if universities are committed to their success as whole persons. While often costly up front, assisting faculty address the challenges of their personal lives may help universities secure their investments in the long run.

University of British Columbia. Dual career programs A site with resources to help faculty and staff job possibilities at the university, as well as other career options in the Greater Vancouver area.

University of California San Diego protocols and guidelines for dual-career academic hires. A site with resources for academic partner hires. 

University of Southern California Dual Career Assistance

Dual Career advice from Max Planck Institute for Medical Research. A service to help the spouse or partner of a newly recruited staff member with job search. 

Harvard University Dual-Career Resources offers contact to staff devoted to the partners of faculty.  As Elizabeth Ancarana, assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity writes:

We think of it as a bicycle wheel. The dual-career job-seeker and the institutional point-person or “broker” are in the center of the wheel. The important partners are the spokes. Deans, department chairs, and faculty help to evaluate candidates for faculty positions; HR recruiters match job-seekers to relevant administrative positions and make introductions to hiring managers; colleagues in Work/Life work closely with families on their dependent care and schooling needs, among other things; colleagues in the housing office help identify housing options that work; and experts in the international office help faculty and their dependents from other countries to obtain work visas.

MIT has programs such as MIT Spouses & Partners Connect  that can help with job searches. 

Colorado State University dual career resources. Helps to explore faculty posts at CSU and other institutions in northern Colorado.

University of Colorado Boulder dual career hiring information

Columbia University faculty spouse, partner dual career service. Among the services are job consultations and referrals

Cornell University Dual Career program helps with job search information and offers other types of assistance to dual career spouses or partners.

Princeton University Dual Career Assistance

University of Utah Dual Career Academic Partners This is a guidance document  on employment opportunities for dual career partners, as well as the process to initiate and finalize such appointments, including financial support. 

Indiana University Office of Academic Affairs Dual Career Services

Although IUPUI cannot guarantee employment, we are committed to helping a partner find fulfilling work at either IUPUI, another university, or within the Indianapolis area. Dual career assistance will not lessen the faculty candidate’s chance of receiving employment.

Purdue University Faculty Dual Career Services 

(Credit: G. Fabrizio/Getty Images)

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