In 2021, six internationally recruited staff members were appointed as associate professors with tenure. Some of them shared their feelings and thoughts about their new positions with the HSE LooK.
I am glad to know that my colleagues think that I move in the right direction as a scientist and as a faculty member. In the meantime, I became the dean of the faculty. So, right now the main goal is to learn how to combine research with my quite diversified administrative duties.
At the same time, there not so many people in Moscow working in my field, so I feel responsible for further popularization of mathematics. I will do my best to attract promising scientists to the faculty in different roles: as visitors, postdocs or faculty staff, and also try to encourage students by my own experience.
I like to study anything that is theoretical, find proof and simplify existing knowledge. I decided a long time ago that I would study interesting things over a significant period of time, even if I would not be paid for it.
After my PhD studies, I worked part-time for a few years with this idea. This tenure status means that I will not have personal financial worries and I can do research while being connected to HSE University.
This new stability allows me to hire more PhD students and promise them a stable environment. Otherwise, I am still doing various research projects as before.
On the one side, I feel very lucky and privileged. On the other side, it is a bit stressful for me. Is it ethical for a tenured person to spend a lot of time on very different small projects, most of which never lead to ‘serious’ publications? Shouldn’t I work on what others consider ‘more serious’ projects?
As usual, the art is finding a healthy balance
I was mostly overwhelmed in my first years as an assistant professor. What helped me was to remind myself about enjoying meaningful activities. It is OK to read basic books intended for Bachelor’s students, or old papers, or to optimize a proof for teaching over the course of a week. When I look back, the time spent on simple tasks allowed me to see complex tasks deeper.
I am of course very happy about being awarded tenure. Getting a position at this level was my main goal after I finished my PhD. I am particularly happy that I managed to get tenured status at HSE University: the research level at this institution is extremely high; speaking in terms of teaching, the high quality of the students makes the teaching process smooth and pleasant here.
This will definitely allow me to focus more on my research. After I finished my PhD, I had to move several times between several universities (and even several countries). This took away a lot of time and effort, which I could devote to my research. Getting tenured status together with the great support that the HSE University provides will allow me to fully focus on my research while also significantly enhancing its quality.
HSE University also offers great support for my research work, and they provide various opportunities for me to support my family
I doubt that there are many universities that can provide all of these advantages simultaneously. So, I view my future work at HSE University with great optimism.
What can you recommend to your colleagues who will be subject to the tenure review process?
Certainly, one should try to do their best in all aspects of an academic career, including research and teaching. In my opinion, there is one more thing that is becoming more and more important nowadays. Mathematics is developing very quickly, and it happens more and more often that people working in one area of mathematics can hardly understand the importance of the results that researchers may obtain in some other area. Therefore, being able to present one's research in an accessible way, depending on the audience, is very important.
I feel delighted and privileged to be a tenured professor at HSE University, which has been my academic home for the past six years. It is an honour to have my work formally recognized at this level.
HSE University has offered me the time and resources to conduct independent research, which is a rare occurrence in the hyper-intensified academia of today. In addition, by becoming a supervisor of the English-taught Master’s programme in Critical Media Studies, I have the opportunity to familiarize myself with aspects of higher education learning that I was previously unaware about, ranging from curriculum design to global outreach.
I am now writing a monograph on curating practices as it moves from the art world to wider media cultures. Furthermore, I am also co-editing two special journal issues: one on contemporary manifesto writing and another on human-animal relations.
In an ideal future, I would like to maintain an open and interdisciplinary focus on my studies, while also continuing to embrace my intellectual curiosity as a prime motivation for research
International faculty members awarded tenure in 2021: