Workshop Overview

Note: the 2006 workshop is over. Find out more about the "Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences" workshops (including a link to next year's), or read on for more information about the 2006 workshop.

Description and Goals

This workshop brought graduate students and post-doctoral fellows interested in an academic career together with geoscience faculty members from different institutional settings who have a range of expertise and experience. The workshop provided a stimulating and resource-rich environment in which to explore important facets of an academic career. Three main goals of the workshop were for participants to become more effective teachers, stronger candidates for academic jobs, and better prepared for a quick start to teaching and research in the next stage of their career.

During the workshop, each participant

  • Learned about the roles and responsibilities of faculty members in different educational settings (e.g., two-year colleges, four-year colleges, universities) and positions in other academic institutions (e.g., museums).
  • Explored aspects of effective and innovative teaching.
  • Designed a research plan suitable for the next career stage.
  • Learned about strategies for documenting strengths and accomplishments in teaching and research and develop or revise supporting materials.
  • Learned more about the job search process.
  • Met informally with other participants and with workshop leaders from a range of educational settings.
  • Developed a self-inventory of preferred options for the next career stage and a personal action plan.


The workshop included faculty panels on academic careers and the academic job search, short presentations on various topics, structured discussions, small-group collaboration, and informal interaction and conversation. Participants left with a broad understanding of academic options, specific strategies for developing as teachers and scholars and for meeting competing demands, and an expanded network of colleagues. Participants participated in electronic discussion and preparation prior to the workshop to become familiar with key issues and concepts and will follow-through with post-workshop plans.


The workshop began at 6:00 pm on Thursday, July 27, and concluded after dinner on Saturday, July 29. Optional workshops were offered in the morning of Sunday, July 26 (9:00 am - noon).


Online applications were due by March 17. (An important part of each application is a statement of endorsement from a faculty member. Please arrange to have this endorsement submitted using the on-line form no later than March 17. It is important that the email address in the application match that in endorsement.)

Selection Criteria and Cost

The workshop size is limited. The final set of participants was established with a goal of assembling a diverse and interactive group representing a range of experiences, educational environments, career aspirations, and specialties. Preference was given to those entering or soon to enter the academic job market.

The operational costs of the workshop as well as room, board, and workshop materials were covered by a grant from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE-0127310). Participants or their home institutions provided transportation to and from the workshop. In cases of unusual hardship, we were able to offer a few small stipends to help defray travel costs.

For more information about the workshops, including travel stipends, see general information for workshop participants.


The workshop was held at Stanford University. Participants were housed in single rooms in dormitories on campus and ate meals on campus. Meal and lodging support began Thursday evening, July 27 and ended Sunday morning, July 30. Persons arriving earlier or staying later made their own arrangements.

Further Information

Contact Cathyrn Manduca or Robyn Wright Dunbar for more information.