Guangyu Xu, a student just finishing his Ph.D. at the Centre for Particle Physics at Durham University, recently sent me a public letter he wrote, explaining the story of his job search, in hopes that it might be useful to others in a similar situation. As he acknowledges, his research record has been rather weak, so not surprising that his postdoc applications were not successful.
Back when I was writing Not Even Wrong, I did some detailed research into whatever information I could find about the HEP-TH job market, but I haven’t tried to do this more recently. Erich Poppitz did some analysis of data from the Theoretical Particle Physics Jobs Rumor Mill (available here), but only up to 2017. Given the large investment of various government agencies in the support of Ph.D. students, I would think that there would be data on career outcomes gathered by such agencies, but haven’t tried to look. Any pointers to this kind of data from anyone who has been looking into it would be appreciated.
Also of interest would be any up-to-date job search advice from those like Guangyu Xu who have been going through this recently.