R.I.P. my academic career

We've put years into academia, only to find ourselves cast out of it. Or we're trapped in difficult, precarious positions on its margins. We deserve better than what we got.

I think we deserve to mourn our lost careers, or acknowledge we're in purgatory. Half-seriously, I made this site: a virtual career graveyard.

My serious point is this: loss deserves recognition. Anyway, add yourself too if you want. It's for anyone. For all of us.

Add me now Reserve a plot
MG
There's more freedom to be myself elsewhere.
Germany
🌺
Dr Hanson
Ya know, she really tried.
Knoxville, TN
🌺 🌺
Professor Nomore
Reviewed, restructured, reviewed; finally I gave her the plan on how to RIP me!
Melbourne Australia
🌹
JW
Started lots of projects, never finished them
Purgatory
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David
PhDone with this Shit
Boston
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Jack H
Homless PhD resorting to crime to enter Cern or roof over my head? A Roof it is
Milton Keynes
🌹
Ilona Sotnikova
Lost meaning
USA
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A n other
Patronised once too often by faculty with fewer pubs and less grant capture
teaching and learning center
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J.B.
Too trans. Got ill. Here lies the career I wanted.
London
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EW
It was time to give up hope.
The States
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Jess
I never saw a well-balanced life I wanted there anyway.
Vancouver, BC
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VC
Tenure denied
PA
πŸ₯€
Unemployed PhD
Here rests a PhD that did worth less than a covering letter
United Kingdom
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Bp
Former assistant teaching faculty
USA
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A
Out of funding
Edinburgh
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JS
She started with hope, and she just was not what the boys wanted.
New Zealand
🌺 🌹
Recent Ph.D. Grad
Naive in my program choice ~ Severely bullied and drained of money and time.
A Prestigious School
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Meritorious Anon
More work and no money = burnout
Online Prof.
🌹 πŸ’
A. Z. B
I got pregnant. RIP digging around the world.
Europe
πŸ’
CD
A broken system that breaks too many. I miss my students but couldn't continue.
NW England
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I gave up
Former Acadmeic
Melbourne
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Burnout postdoc
Bullied to the point of burnout
Scotland
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GW
Lost a lot of myself in this journey... I shall arise and live again.
Nigeria
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DSV
Cause of death: academic cliques, abusive partners, and becoming a mother.
Canada
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GH
Outstanding teaching.Never published.
Atlanta, GA
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Endowed Professor
Not homophobic enough
Holland, Michigan
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LKG
Dum spiro, scribo. But... after 20+ years of online adjuncting, I quit.
the Interwebz
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TheScientist
Dearly missed
Earth
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Anon
Wouldn't spend 3 months living with a man I had never met
Colorado
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AAH
To be true is to be free
Seattle, WA
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Tim Rayner
Saw The Light
Cambridge
πŸ‚ πŸ‚
CAP
I didn't respond well to being exploited.
Arizona
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CP
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt
Cincinnati, OH
πŸ₯€ πŸ’
RDK
Now to become the gnarled oak; to thrive uncut
Washington DC
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SL
Exhausted Postdoc - expected the grind to have end - wishful thinking
Germany
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DeathByOverwork
Killed herself working still not feeling she was good enough
Sitting at desk to mark those last scripts at 4am
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R.C.
No publications + no funding = no postdoc
UK
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DS
Here lies an academic who didn't want to be an academic
Hyderabad.
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KEA
Told my teaching aspirations didn't count; research only
Virginia, USA
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JB
Had to choose between supporting my children or furthering my career.
UK
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CM
Adjunct life killed the dream
USA
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AMO
Published AND Perished
Everywhere and nowhere
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Jane Doe
Refused to be a Marytr
PA-NY-IL
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RS
Likely Perishing
UK
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C
The good ole boys won.
SC, USA
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MS
Neurodivergent PoC grad student thought it was a safe space.
TO, CA
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PTG
Simply not that good at doing experiments.
boston, MA
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H
Death by trying to make a full time wage as a casual
Regional University
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Hannah Alpert-Abrams
would've been good at it
usa
🌺 πŸ’
BJ
More degrees minted than departments hiring.
Texas
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M.
Find a project you love and you'll work really fucking hard and then burn out.
Brighton, UK.
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DR
R.I.P.
USA
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anon
15 years service, fired over MS Teams
UK
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RN
they wore down the soft parts.
London, Englandia
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GMS
Loved doing research. His awards showed his fit. Never got an interview.
Porto Alegre, BR
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support open education
if i hadn't been laid off due to COVID i would have died from the toxicity
HELL
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Anon
Neurodivergence and academia=recipe for disaster
Betelgeuse
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Anonymous
...Educational system that feeds on students
A country
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RBW
She soon learned this "lifestyle" came with a cost: her health & happiness.
Maryland, USA
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Anon PhD
Bullied by advisor. Will find some job that deserves my efforts...
UK
🌹 πŸ’
WER
Crushed by the excessive expectations of the academic job market
NC
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SdL
Impossible to get a PhD in my field
The Netherlands
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LRG
NTT, heavy service, burned out
Southern US
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Department Chair
Dreamed of paying student loans on her salary
USA
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
FPM
A liberal arts education meant jack.
West coast, USA
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PSDC
Killed by Passion
Denmark
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CS
Not enough papers and thought staying longer would fix it
USA
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Harassed out
Realized I, and my skills, would be more valued elsewhere
Everywhere
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Biffo
My PhD made me unemployable.
A Citizen of the World
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M
Derailed off the tenure track
North Carolina
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S.E.N.
She thought her love for poetry and literature would see her through
Hyderabad
πŸ‚
k
Neglect. Nothing was ever good enough.
4 different schools
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RP
Where do I begin?
Hobart
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S
He peaked too soon and ultimately disappointed his employers.
The North, UK
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R
Here lies a career that would have ruined my life
A better place
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WY
"sub-optimal fit" & "Narrow and topical research"
The Netherlands
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MBR
Subjectivty and bullying, alas the tenure reqs could not be assessed well.
Corvallis, Ore.
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Beloved Wife and Mother
Death by Two-Body Problem
College Town, USA
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IRH
He wouldn't move to Sh*tsville Arkansas for a 1-yr VAP
Purgatory
πŸ₯€
TKO
"You'll never get promoted doing work like that"
UK
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AJH
Dead academic careers leave no corpus
I travelled far to live
πŸ’
A defeated Library Media Specialist
Here lies an awesome library program, now dead due to no district funding.
Florida
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P. E. H.
Tried writing a thesis while severely depressed. Failed and dropped out.
Germany
πŸ‚ πŸ’
WGL
No job, no prospects, no hope.
UK
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
Altha Jane Cravey
Fought injustice as long as possible.
UNC
🌹 πŸ‚
LF
Let down by those who should have raised her
SW
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Bebop
Could publish but no funding
Northern England
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NJM
I chose career stability and sanity over endless adjuncting.
Seattle, WA
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CMS
student 4eva
Colonial hellscape
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DM
less production of knowledge than egos
nowhere stable
πŸ₯€ πŸ‚
NR
Pushed out of my staff job at my Alma mater so boss could give my job to her BFF
NY
πŸ‚ πŸ‚
SP
It's not me it's you
NYC
πŸ’ πŸ₯€
RZ
dreams turned off
Kyiv
πŸ₯€ 🌺
OB
Former postdoc
Cambridge
πŸ‚ 🌹
KBG
I thought there would be cake.
Washington, D.C.
🌺 🌺
CT
You wanted enough income to buy a house here? You absolute moron.
Ann Arbor, MI
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Rainbow
Doesn't play well with narcissists
Oxford
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Dymphna
Died a slow and painful death alone, body found covered in unfinished articles
Toronto
πŸ₯€
LAA
Tenure-track but university is no longer honoring tenure.
USA
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JC
how naive of me to think it wasn't nepotism & backchannels all the way down
bumblefuck, indiana
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FCKDK
I will haunt the dreams of those who create a toxic environment in academia
USA
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Anonymous
I had the passion and got ignored. Big names mean nothing.
Center of PA
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Liz B
Sanity Prevailed, I left.
UK and Ireland
🌹 πŸ‚
Anon
My work's in the REF submission, I'm not employed in UKHE anymore
UK
πŸ’
BB
Here lies the dreams and goals of a young graduate student
Davis, CA
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S. T.
No room for sick people
Academia
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Neizvestnyi
Academia is no place for a disabled person
USA
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VWN
Applied for jobs diligently but never got an interview, or feedback.
Normal Island
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GG
Wasn't very good at it
A different one every 6 months
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CMT
I finally get benefits, vacation, and can pay my bills.
Somewhere I chose to live, not where academia had a job.
🌺 🌺
Jessica
"We're like a family here"
Flagstaff
🌹 🌹
SW
Couldn't balance job search with family needs
California
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WCO6
Life sucked out by postions of responsibility, but no authority.
USA
πŸ₯€ πŸ’
DL
Tired of being disposable labour
Oxford
🌺 🌹
Dead and dying
Death by UGC's apathy
Hyderabad
πŸ‚
Dr G
Of Blessed Memory
USA
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EMW
Black me out.
New England
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Tenured & Fired
Even tenure wasn't enough. Colleagues just looked away.
Happening Everywhere
🌺 πŸ‚
Former Assistant Professor
She realized tenure-track hell was paved with good intentions
Anywhere, USA
πŸ₯€ 🌺
Anonymous
The tenure trap is a feature of the abusive environment, not a bug.
USA
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Harpy
Over-40 PhD meant adjuncting in basements until death (I left instead)
USA
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BJS
Quit after discovering there really was a last straw
Sydney Australia
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JD
Overworked and underemployed
a little bit of everywhere
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Sad but glad
Clung on grimly, free at last
Tasmania
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AT
Laid off after 14 yrs of abuse, couldn't bring myself to go back for more
NAU
πŸ₯€
SG
Too many ideas, too slow at writing them
The universe
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Godswisdom
I had abandoned everything... Farewell my years of hard work!
Nigeria
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AOK
Scholarships all cut to pay public debt interest and praise neoliberals
Brazil
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Laertides
Here lies a undergrad who thought he could be someone
Exeter, UK
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SC
Nervous breakdown, torched PhD. Now I'm a librarian.
The Northeast
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Jennifer Polk
She had so much potential
Toronto, ON
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Former Assistant Professor ASF
Being an academic engaged in the community is an oxymoron.
USA
πŸ‚
GW
Another five years buried, more years to bury.
Nigeria
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MP
22 years and adjunct, still holding on. Why??
East Coast US, where there are lots of colleges but no jobs
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s.a.
some dumb 1st gen redneck who thought working hard would be enough
new england (reluctantly)
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JayCayR
Lost in limbo
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
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MeghanBPhD
tenured in name only
Bloomington, IL
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Alexis Santos
Let me run one more model
University Park, PA
πŸ₯€ 🌹
EJWB
Wanted to understand what makes a safe place
Scotland
🌹
Just too much
Still fighting
Rural tri-state area
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Nikkin
6 years adjuncting & still underpaid til i'm laid to rest
CO
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Black Dragom
Do you deny the favours of your lord ?
Englandiana
🌹
Grad Stud - Postdoc - Contingent
Treated like trash every step of the way. One of too many.
Higher Ed, Everywhere
🌹
SC
Got out and found greener pastures
Everywhere
πŸ₯€
Andrew Johnson
Should have been better
Baltimore
🌺
Anonymous
I told you I was sick.
Dead end academic librarian
πŸ’
AMH
Adjuncted too long, delayed completing my PhD, there is no longer a place for me
PA
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N/A
tried to climb the long ladder but fell into a wheelchair
Fortress Europe
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Anonymous
Long hours, low pay, limited opportunities
UK
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Jakob Williams Oerberg
Liked working and building things with other people too much
Denmark
🌹 πŸ₯€
Elisa, PhD ABD
Adjunct - TA - Adjunct - admin GA - ?
Central NY
🌺 πŸ’
CG, PhD
She discovered only male academics were allowed to have families
VA, USA
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FML
Bullied for two years and then kicked to the curb.
USA
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DJ
Should have listened to the friends who warned you about that advisor
Brooklyn, NY
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DISESTABLISHED
Never allowed to fly
Newcastle
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Unknown Academic
Simply didn't "want it" enough
Cambridge, UK
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AC
Never get a PhD. Always a waste of time, energy, money, and your soul.
AZ
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SW
Failed academic, well, not really failed, A+ for effort, B for actual results
Ohio
πŸ’
shine choi
I tried but it was fucking impossible!!!!
aotearoa nz
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A
Forever ABD
EU
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DHA
Child of 2 academics. Failed grad student. In exile as staff of faculty union.
A Nutmeg in the Land of Steady Habits
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KM
Zero support, confidence destroyed. 5 years on happy in new job
UK
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BLC
Abused every day for last 3 yrs of PhD. These people are sick and untouchable.
York, UK
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Anonymous
Giving birth was apparently the death of her academic career.
Missouri
πŸ‚ πŸ’
anonymous
She could no longer navigate the exploitative, sharky behavior of older scholars
South Africa
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JB
A once promising graduate student spoiling every opportunity and relationship
USA
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SG
Believed in meritocracy, killed by neoliberalism
UK
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E
Perished instead of published
Australia
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Pinar
In loving memory of "research time"
Liverpuuul
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2nd Author
PhD + Postdoc + Fruitless Job Search = Divorce
A major metropolitan area
πŸ₯€
MW
Had Bills to Pay
UK
πŸ‚
HB
I didn't know I was just supposed to build YOUR empire rather than my own ideas.
PhD Advisors' Former Pawn
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
S
12 years on staff at alma mater, promoted, forced out
R1 Bullshit Town
πŸ‚
C
Leaving with a little bit of sadness but an overwhelming sense of relief
Australia
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EA
Funding and passion dwindled to nothing
R1, USA
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Dr. A
research not 'niche' enough
USA
πŸ₯€
K.K.
To the prof who said "Maybe you don't belong here", I'm glad.
Heaven, too, is a gated community; Hell is for the people.
πŸ‚
CB
Overworked, underpaid adjunct.
NY
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M S
Left a husk incapable of loving the field that was a lifelong passion and escape
Cambridge UK
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L
University destroyed my mental health so I had to drop out
Spain
πŸ₯€ πŸ’
AD
Here lies the academic everyone wanted me to be. Everyone except me.
Hong Kong
🌹
AS
Tired of the job market
England
πŸ‚ 🌹
Department Chair
The new hired without experience makes $5,000 more. No hopes to match it.
USA
🌺
pre-pandemic postdoc
Suffered from severe depression and a narcissistic PI
A Dark Place
πŸ‚
K Giles
Published and perished
USA
πŸ’
AJF
Academia, rigmarole defined.
Canada
πŸ₯€ 🌺
Sarp Kargi
Welp, I hope round 2 of undergrad works and this plot goes unused..
Manchester, UK
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Dr. Leahcim Semaj
Resurrected as Above or Beyond Inc.
Boca Eaton, Fort Lauderdale, Kingston
🌺 🌺
AA
Tried to unionize
Northeastern University
πŸ‚ 🌺
ZA
Actually found I can do research just fine outside of the academy
UK
🌹 πŸ’
Dr. GFR
Abused but emerged from the ashes
Santa Fe, NM
πŸ₯€
Former Academic
I finally had enough. God, I'm so tired.
The Netherlands
πŸ₯€
HB
Here lies wasted potential and a handful of years of trauma gained
~Moved on to the materials and microscopy industry realm~
🌺 🌹
Jenna E.
Off in search of a way to make real change in the world
Washington, DC
🌹
The Ginger Dwarf
Forgot to Lie for the Dean
Bath Spa University
πŸ‚
S H
Lacked the confidence of a straight white man and died under pressure.
France
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Death by toxic Admin
The everything else stripped the joy from teaching itself.
Does it even matter?
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Gabriele de Seta
Just one more postdoc and I will be employable
Wherever there is a job
Reserved plot
Eli Rose
I miss teaching.
Atlanta, GA
🌺
Fatally Exhausted
πŸ₯€
Unemployed
πŸ’ πŸ’
Former Academic
🌺 πŸ₯€
Visiting Faculty
🌺 πŸ₯€
Visiting Faculty
🌺
Tenure Denied
πŸ‚
Former Academic
πŸ’
Faced Structural Violence
πŸ‚ πŸ’
Contract Expired
🌺 🌹
Dead End Job
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Faced Structural Violence
πŸ’ πŸ₯€
Adjunct
πŸ‚
Adjunct
πŸ’
Former Academic
πŸ₯€
Former Academic
πŸ‚ πŸ₯€
Occupational Injury
πŸ‚
Contract Expired
πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€
Dead End Job
🌹 πŸ‚
Dropout
πŸ₯€ πŸ’
Adjunct
πŸ₯€ 🌺
Grad Student Worker
🌺
Unemployed
πŸ‚
Former Academic
🌺
Former Academic
🌹
Fatally Exhausted
🌹
Tenure Denied
πŸ’ πŸ’
Dropout
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Fatally Exhausted
πŸ₯€ 🌹
Former Academic
🌹 🌹
Dropout
🌺
Former Academic
πŸ₯€
Grad Student Worker
🌹
Former Academic
πŸ₯€ πŸ’
Faced Structural Violence
πŸ‚
Dead End Job
🌺
Toxic Workplace
🌺 🌹
Former Academic
🌹
Former Academic
πŸ‚ πŸ’
Grad Student Worker
🌹
Attrition
πŸ’
Visiting Faculty
πŸ₯€
Grad Student Worker
🌺 🌹
Visiting Faculty
🌹 🌹
Fatally Exhausted
🌺
Former Academic
πŸ₯€ 🌹
Tenure Denied
πŸ’
Unemployed
🌺 πŸ’
Former Academic
πŸ’ πŸ’
Former Academic
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Faced Structural Violence
πŸ₯€
Attrition
πŸ₯€
Attrition
🌹 πŸ₯€
Tenure Denied
🌹
Dead End Job
πŸ₯€ 🌹
Contract Expired
πŸ’
Former Academic
πŸ’
Adjunct
🌹
Occupational Injury
🌺
Dropout
🌺 πŸ₯€
Contract Expired
🌺
Unemployed
πŸ‚
Toxic Workplace
🌹
Occupational Injury
πŸ’ πŸ‚
Occupational Injury
🌺 πŸ‚
Toxic Workplace
πŸ’
Attrition
πŸ‚ 🌹
Former Academic
πŸ’
Toxic Workplace
πŸ‚ πŸ‚