Helping Women Achieve in Academic Science

Start Up

Let’s start with something obvious for negotiating: Your Start Up Package

When negotiating start up funds for a new position, you will likely be talking to the department chair. The chair should be your advocate with the dean and provost for these funds. He/She should want to help you succeed by getting the resources you need. Further, these are resources for the department that could be utilized by other faculty, as well, so it is in her best interest to negotiate well for you and the department.

Equipment: I recommend making a itemized dream list with equipment specified with dollar amounts. Highlight the items that are essential to your work. You cannot live without these items being right in your lab. Highlight items that could be shared as department resources. Highlight items that would be great to have nearby, but would be OK, if you had to travel to use them. Make sure they are able to be accessed freely in another department. If money is needed for these resources, ask for the money.

Space: Make a map of the lab space they are promising you. Place the equipment in the space to demonstrate how your lab will look when the renovations and installations are all done. If there is not enough room, or not what you need (a fume hood, for instance) point it out in that map. If you are given two split spaces, do it for all the space. If you are given two options, make up two to help you decide the best location.

People: Yes, you should ask for funds to pay students, technicians, postdocs, and YOURSELF! Ask for a certain number of students for a certain number of years. Ask to make sure that their tuition will be waved if you use start-up to pay. If not, you need to increase the number to pay for their stipends and their tuition. Make sure money for technicians and postdocs includes health care and other fees. Ask for summer salary for yourself, or make sure they are paying your salary (such as in a medical school) for several years before you will likely have independent funding.

Are there other items? Comment or write a guest post.

Comments on: "Start Up" (1)

  1. […] A former student of a colleague was coming back to visit and brought some great news. He had landed a big fancy-named fellowship and a job offer. He started asking me questions that one has when put into a new situation – a rare situation – negotiations. He was at the negotiations stage. This is something that you don’t get to do very often, and thus, none of us are all that practiced at it. I have had a couple older posts about negotiating (Everything and Practice and StartUp). […]

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