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