Maître-assistant-e-s / Lecturers

Please note that the terms "junior lecturer", "lecturer" and "senior lecturer" are only approximate translations of their French counterparts.

Eligibility and duration
A more substantial research dossier than that of a junior lecturer is expected of lecturers on their appointment, particularly in terms of publications. Likewise, a stay at another academic institution is also highly regarded and sometimes required.

Lecturer posts are fixed-term appointments. Their duration and the possibilities for renewing the post or securing it on a permanent basis vary from one institution to another.

Within the context of the career
Some universities allocate time for compiling your own dossier of publications, while others do not. During the appointment procedure, it’s worth asking questions about planned research projects and possibilities for developing your own projects

Teaching is only one aspect of the research dossier. Even if you really enjoy teaching, you must take precautions against being overwhelmed by student supervision, by setting fixed appointment times for example.

If you feel that your administrative responsibilities are jeopardising the development of your research dossier, you must have the courage to renegotiate your workload as soon as possible as temporary posts are dangerous and may undermine an academic career.

It is the responsibility of the professor who is the immediate superior to further the lecturer’s career, for example by proposing collaboration on a publication or the joint organisation of a colloquium (make sure however that the organisation of the colloquium in question does not make too many demands on your time).

In some fields, it’s standard practice to mention the doctoral student as first author and the professor who obtained the funding as last author when research works are published.

The lecturer’s name is then barely visible in the middle. Lecturers are advised to raise the problem at the time of recruitment and to ensure that their contributions will be recognised, for example by being mentioned as first co-author with the student or as last co-author with the professor (corresponding author).

You should not hesitate to take personal initiatives. Collaboration with other research centres, such as obtaining third-party funding, are highly appreciated. It’s therefore a good idea to cultivate contacts made for example during a stay abroad and to propose collaborative projects. Also why not submit a grant application for a research project to the SNFS?

In some departments, lecturers can obtain a reduction in their working hours in the final year of their contract so that they can devote more time to developing their research dossier. It’s worth obtaining information from colleagues about the department’s practices and where necessary negotiating a reduction.