Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences

As you prepare to begin your career as a geoscience faculty member, you're probably wondering how to land a job you'll enjoy, as well as what you can do now to lay the groundwork for a successful career in academia. This page is a gateway to resources you can use to achieve your goals. This collection of resources is an outgrowth of the annual Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences Workshops.

Laying the Foundation

The two articles listed below are written from the perspective that, to be successful, it helps to plan ahead. The articles outline a method for thinking about what you can do now to prepare for the next stage of your academic career.

The Job Search

Define your job search and learn about the job search process, including applying, interviewing, and negotiating. If there factors that make your job search unusual (you are part of a "dual career couple," or are GLBT, or have a disability), learn how other people like you have addressed that situation.

Preparing to Teach

Explore possible ways to get teaching experience, design the courses you will teach, plan your day-to-day teaching, and document your teaching strengths and accomplishments.

Moving Your Research Forward

Design a research plan suitable for the next career stage: get your current work published, find collaborators beyond your Ph.D. advisor, and think ahead to your next research project(s).

Preparing for an Academic Career Workshops

Each summer, we offer a multi-day workshop, designed specifically for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are interested in pursuing academic careers. Participants meet informally with other participants and with workshop leaders from a range of educational settings, share ideas and strategies for stress- and time-management, and develop a self-inventory of preferred options for the next career stage and a personal action plan. Session topics focus on becoming both a successful teacher and researcher. Find out about the 2020 workshop or read about previous workshops.


Read up on careers in academia, via books recommended by leaders and alumni of the Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences workshops. While by no means an exhaustive list, these books come highly recommended.

Join the Discussion

Join the discussion on the Career Prep email list for workshop alumni and others interested in preparing for an academic career.

These web pages are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education under grants #0127310, #0127141, #0127257, and #0127018.

Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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