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Note for people applying to Universities in the United Kingdom

I wrote this in the section about the 2009-10 job-offer at Queen Mary, University of London, but I think it's of use to anyone applying to any University in the UK, as the funding and expectations there are so radically different from what they are in the USA, in most cases.

'I've heard that a deal-breaker [at QMUL] for a lot of candidates was that they didn't have at least 2 publications with top-ranked journals - many people would otherwise have been worth at least an interview. This is unfortunately likely to be the case with many or most UK Universities, as there is a periodic Research Assessment Exercise by the Governemt to determine Universities' funding for the next few years (the next one will be called the Research Excellence Framework and will take place in 2013; there's just been one in 2008). Departments choose members of faculty to 'submit for review', and their number of journal publications (specifically, not edited-book chapters etc) count for much more in the REF than other forms of publication do. Departments' future Governmental funding depends on how well they do in the REF, so Departments are likely to go for people with journal publications (remember these aren't private Universities so a lot of their income is from the Government, as tuition fees are capped). QMUL explicity stated in their job-ad that they were looking for candidates with at least 2 articles in top-ranked journals - others just assume that you know that your publication record needs to be as good as possible, for these very concrete reasons, and that that could be a deal-breaker.'

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