This is how we keep the gates, keep the gates, keep the gates

I don’t want to attempt to diagnose the processes behind this, but you will able to guess from my comment what I think is wrong with it, if that remains. Mind you, the worst instance of this I ever heard of was another institution in Cambridge that shall remain nameless whose entire application instructions for a research fellowship were, in totality and without omission: “To apply, send the usual materials to [address] by [date],” which is a gem I’m sure you’ll agree. I tend to blame these things on thoughtless insularity rather than malice aforethought, but they are more common than they should be, i. e. they exist.

[Edit: I should add, as I have been reminded, that the Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic Department actually has a commendable and demonstrable track record in hiring from outside Cambridge and non-traditional backgrounds, and clarify that this post was solely meant to call out an administrative infelicity, not to attack the blogger's personal attitudes to it.]

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6 responses to “This is how we keep the gates, keep the gates, keep the gates

  1. If I saw an ad like that, I’d be torn between assuming it was a pro forma thing and they’d already chosen an internal candidate, or that the hiring committee were possibly not the sort of people I’d like to work with, because, well, thoughtless insularity.

  2. Those arriving late to this party may observe that the anonymous poster has adopted my suggestion, but managed to find the old form that is supposedly replaced on the same site as the new one. Again, I think no further comment wise.

  3. Lizzie Boyle

    Hi Jon, I am the person who posted it (and the comment). I just copied and pasted the advert from the departental website onto the blog. When you posted your comment about the form, I checked in case the link was wrong, but the original advert definitely calls for the PD18 form to be completed, not the CHRIS/6, so left the link as it was in order *not* to confuse applicants from outside Cambridge who may not be familiar with various technicalities of cover forms. If people send in their applications as outlined in the further particulars, their application will be considered (no malice before or after the fact – I mean how many fluent Modern Irish-speakers with PhDs do you think there are in Cambridge? Hardly any, not even in ASNC!).

    • Hullo Lizzie, thankyou for the clarification! My link may not have helped matters in that case, by all means remove that comment if it’s felt unhelpful. I hadn’t realised that named posters on that blog were also behind the anonymous posts, I’d assumed they were coming from ‘higher up’. No intent to shoot the messenger I assure you…

  4. Lizzie Boyle

    P.S. Having clarified the matter with our departmental secretary, I can confirm that applicants should complete the PD18 form as originally instructed (and as it states both on the departmental website, and on the blog). Apologies if I contributed to any confusion!

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