A lot of women are notoriously bad at negotiating (though Dr Becca and @SciTriGrrl are really good at it) but it is something that sometimes needs to happen. What I am struggling with at the moment is when you are in the position to negotiate?
Dr. BrownEyes and I have decided that in a couple of years we want to move back to the home country, and in a few weeks we are going there and while we’re there we are going to talk to a couple labs about potentially working there in the future. The system in the home country is different from that in the US, in that there are few tenure track positions that are advertised for. Most people just
sneak their way
back into join a research group and from there on build their own line of
research and eventually will become independent that way. So people will hire
you as a senior post-doc and when you get your own grants you are able to hire
more people and build your own research group. However, rumor has it that they
will usually only offer you a year if you come without your own grants and if
you don’t get grants in that year you’re out… (although I’ve seen examples when
due to goodwill of the PI this didn’t happen). So in order to have a couple
years to acquire grants, we are starting to network now and hopefully have
grants when we are planning to go back.
To me it feels like I’m not (yet) in a position to negotiate because I don’t have any grant money to bring to the table. I do have ideas and I learned slice electrophysiology which I think has increased my market value. But is that true? Or do I need to figure out what I want and ask for it? For example I will need certain equipment in order to do my experiments. And in case I don’t get my own grant(s) before moving back I want more than that 1 year contract. Do I ask for this already in this first interview? And what are other things I should consider negotiating about? And most importantly: how do you negotiate if you don’t know if and how much grants you will be able to bring?