Workshop Overview

Sundial and rose garden, UNC, Chapel Hill.
Description and Goals

This workshop will bring graduate students and post-doctoral fellows interested in an academic career together with experienced geoscience faculty members from a range of institutional settings. The workshop will provide a stimulating and resource-rich environment in which to explore important facets of an academic career. Three main goals of the workshop are for participants to become more effective teachers, stronger candidates for academic jobs, and better prepared future faculty members who will be able to make a quick and effective start in teaching and research.

During the workshop, each participant will:

  • Learn about roles and responsibilities of faculty members in different educational settings (e.g., two-year colleges, four-year colleges, universities).
  • Explore aspects of effective and innovative teaching.
  • Consider how to move their research forward in different educational settings.
  • Learn about strategies for documenting strengths and accomplishments in teaching and research, and develop or revise supporting materials.
  • Learn more about the job search process.
  • Meet informally with other participants and with workshop leaders from a range of educational settings.
  • Develop a personal action plan.

Workshop leaders

Heather Macdonald, Geology Department, College of William & Mary
David McConnell, Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University

The workshop program will include 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 will leave 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 will engage 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 will begin on the evening of Wednesday, June 27, 2012, and will conclude after dinner on Friday, June 29, 2012. Participants must attend all sessions from Wednesday evening through Friday evening. Optional additional workshop sessions will be held on Wednesday afternoon, June 27 and in the morning on Saturday, June 30.


Applications are due March 8, 2012. An important part of each application is a statement of endorsement from a faculty member. Please arrange to have this endorsement submitted using the online form no later than March 8, 2012. When you make those arrangements, please give the email address you use on the workshop application form to the faculty member writing your endorsement letter. We use that email address to track all of your application materials, so if they submit a letter for you with a different email address, we won't know to connect it to your application.

Selection Criteria and Cost

The workshop size is limited. Preference will be given to those entering or soon to enter the academic job market.

The registration fee for the workshop is $150; the registration fee for participants who are local (and will not need housing or breakfast) is $50. Funding from the National Science Foundation through a grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education will cover some of the workshop costs and some of the cost of double-occupancy room (three nights), board, and workshop materials. To be supported by these funds, a participant must be either a US citizen, a permanent resident, or in the employ of a US institution. If you don't meet these requirements and are interested in participating in this workshop at your own expense, please contact the workshop conveners.

Participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop, which will be held at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. If the cost of attending this workshop would cause financial hardship, you can apply for a stipend to help defray these costs.

For more information about the workshops, including selection criteria and workshop stipends, see general information for workshop participants.


In cases where the cost of attending this workshop would cause financial hardship, you can apply for a stipend to help defray these costs.


The workshop will be held at the Friday Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Further Information

Contact Heather Macdonald for more information.