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Participant Checklist

What to do in preparation for the workshop on Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences


To help you get the most out of the workshop on Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences, we ask that you do several things in advance. Here's a list of those preparatory activities and their deadlines:

By April 8:

  • Optional: If you will need financial assistance to attend the workshop, apply for a workshop stipend.

By June 1:

By June 5:

  • Optional: Submit your roommate request, if you have one, by email to CuttingEdge@wm.edu. Both parties must submit a request, and your dates of arrival and departure will need to be the same in order to accommodate your request.

By July 1:

  • Upload your elevator talk (more information below).
  • OPTIONAL, but STRONGLY encouraged: Upload your teaching and/or research statement(s). Note: you don't need to have polished versions of these statements to upload; draft versions are fine. Participants who submit these statements in advance will participate in small group review sessions of their statements, each group working with one of the workshop leaders. Leaders will also offer their constructive feedback.

By July 8:

  • Answer the teaching activity question: What are the features that you look for in a strong teaching activity?

Prior to the workshop:

  • Download the workshop health form, complete it, and bring it with you to the workshop in a sealed envelope.
  • If you have a teaching and/or research statement, print out five copies of each and bring them with you to the workshop.
  • If you indicated on the registration form that you are planning to bring a laptop, please do so.
  • You will have wireless access in the workshop meeting rooms. Wireless access is not available in the dorms; if you want internet access in the corms, you will need to pay a $10 fee at check-in and will need to bring a cable with you.
  • Bring an alarm clock or cell phone with alarm as the dorm rooms don't have alarm clocks. Also, bring shampoo, soap, etc. as that is not provided in your dorm room.

Elevator Talk

In the job search and interview process you will have brief, yet critical, opportunities to convey your work to departmental faculty, institutional administrators, and students. In preparation for that, we are asking you to draft a BRIEF introduction to yourself and your research. The goal is to convey the nature and significance of your work to a scientist (but not necessarily a geoscientist). Consider how you might answer the following questions in approximately four to six sentences: What is the field you work in? What is the research that you do? Why is it important? This is the beginning of a conversation, so you want to keep your description brief; it may help you to think about what you could say in the time of an elevator ride.

The Stanford University I-RITE/I-SPEAK program teaches graduate students and post-docs to write similar (but longer) descriptions of their research; we've posted a number of examples from the geosciences. The examples on this page are extended versions of what we're asking you to write; in most cases, what we're looking for from you is in the first paragraph of the example. (In a few cases, the examples take a while to explain the significance of the author's research; we advocate putting that information right up front.)

We encourage you to compose your introduction in a word processor, then read it out loud, making sure the text reflects how you would talk in a conversation. Also, please make sure your name is included at the top of your statement before you upload it. It should be no more than one paragraph.


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