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