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