Initial Publication Date: January 25, 2011

Pursuing an Academic Career Virtual Event Series

Strategic Early Career Planning: Wednesday, May, 11 2011

Take the helm for steering your career path in the right direction. Photo credit: Lander, obtained from Flickr.
3 pm Eastern | 2 pm Central | 1 pm Mountain | 12 pm Pacific (1 hr)

Leader: Rachel O'Brien, Allegheny College

This virtual event focuses on helping you learn what's necessary to be a strong job applicant in an academic faculty search. Prior to our interactive session, I'll show you how to develop your own personal inventory of your professional experience and application materials. Once you have completed your inventory, the interactive session will illustrate several examples, and then discuss how you can develop a strategic plan to complete what you need to enter the job market. We hope you will join us!

Jump down to: References, resources, and the presentation from this virtual event.

Goals for participants are to:

  • Understand the scope of what's involved in applying for an academic position
  • Identify particular elements of your application package and/or professional experience to develop
  • Create a personal strategic plan to prepare yourself for the job search process

Time - 3 pm Eastern | 2 pm Central | 1 pm Mountain | 12 pm Pacific 
Duration - 1 hour
Format - Online web presentation via Elluminate web conference software with questions and discussion. Participants will receive an email with instructions detailing how to log into the event approximately one week prior to the event.
Registration - There is no registration fee, but registration is required to participate. Space is limited to 30. Applicants need to commit to completing their assignments before the May 11 event. Registration closes when the spaces fill, or on May 4th, whichever comes first. Please complete and submit the registration form if you are interested and able to participate. 
Preparation - Shortly after the registration deadline, participants will receive an email with materials for the virtual event, a link to a short video and an assignment to complete prior to the online interactive session (these materials are also provided below). Participants should expect to spend approximately 1 hour on this effort at a time that is convenient for each individual. The online session on May 11th will provide an opportunity for participants to reflect on the results of the assignment, pose any questions they have, and learn how to move forward to strengthen their application package. Participants will receive an email with instructions detailing how to log into the interactive event approximately one week prior to May 11th.

Materials for Preparation

Please email Rachel Beane (rbeane AT if you have any questions about this event or Monica Bruckner (mbruckne AT if you have technical questions.


Rachel O'Brien is an Associate Professor of Geology at Allegheny College. She has been on the faculty since 2000 and currently serves as department chair. She has been a facilitator for several On the Cutting Edge Preparing for an Academic Career workshops. You can read more about her work at a private, liberal arts school on her Career Profile page. Rachel serves as an institutional mentor to junior faculty at Allegheny and enjoys helping others create strategic and successful career plans.

References and Resources

Strategic Early Career Planning presentation slides (Acrobat (PDF) 8.5MB May11 11)

Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 76.5MB May13 11)

References cited in the presentation

  • The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor – Karl D. Hostetler, R. McLaran Sawyer, and Keith W. Prichard, eds.
  • McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers - Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie
  • The Power of Problem-Based Learning – Barbara J. Duch, Susan E. Groh, and Deborah E. Allen, eds.
  • How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching - Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman
  • Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology – Gregor M. Novak, Evelyn T. Patterson, Andrew D. Gavrin, Wolfgang Christian
  • Tools for Teaching - Barbara Gross Davis
  • Career Strategies for Women in Academia: Arming Athena – Lynn H. Collins, Joan C. Chrisler, and Kathryn Quina, eds.
  • Advice for New Faculty Members – Robert Boice
  • The Compleat Academic: A Career Guide – John M. Darley, Mark P. Zanna, and Henry L. Roediger III, eds.
  • The New Professor's Handbook: A Guide to Teaching and Research in Engineering and Science – Cliff I. Davidson and Susan A. Ambrose

Related Links

General/Overarching Resources:

  • On the Cutting Edge - links to On the Cutting Edge module, which include managing your career, enhancing your teaching, and geoscience topics and themes
  • Teach the Earth Site Guides - a list of all available site guides for popular topics and resources. The purpose of the site guides is to showcase materials from different projects across the SERC sites that pertain to a certain topic.

Career Preparation and Development:

  • The Job Search Process - from the Preparing for an Academic Career module, includes information devoted to helping you through the job search process step by step.
  • Career Development webinar series 2011 - this front page to the 2011 Career Development webinar series links to each of the past webinar event pages, which contain ScreenCasts of the presentation, slides from the presentation that are available for download, and related references and resources on various topics in career development.
  • Career Development Site Guide - links to projects across the SERC sites that are devoted to career development.

Grants and Research Funding:

Research on Learning: