Participant Checklist

What to do in preparation for the workshop for Early Career Faculty in the Geosciences

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

Cancellation deadline: May 24

  • Note: No refunds will be made if you withdraw from the workshop after May 24, 2019. Exceptions will only be made in cases of extreme personal hardship. If you withdraw before the deadline it will be possible to obtain a partial refund. Please contact the conveners, Tessa Hill, Sarah Penniston-Dorland, and Josh Galster (earlycareer.geosci AT immediately if you realize you will be unable to attend the workshop.

By June 1

  • Inform us of your travel plans and housing needs. For this, you will need to decide whether to make the optional visit to NSF. For information on travel options, see the logistics page.
  • If you are going to NSF, choose your sessions. IMPORTANT: About 1 week before the workshop, we will provide the list of individual appointments that we have scheduled. We ask that you do not make appointments yourself due to the complexity of planning for this group (this is NSF's preferred way of coordinating the day). If you have any questions about the NSF visit and/or individual appointments, please ask Tessa Hill, Sarah Penniston-Dorland and Josh Galster at

By June 5

  • Upload a research proposal summary OR a teaching assignment / activity for feedback during the Wednesday afternoon sessions. For Wednesday afternoon, you registered for either the 'Improving Research Proposals' or 'Improving Class Activities and Assignments' session. For these sessions, you will need to submit your materials through the website before June 5. Every year, participants tell us that the feedback and review sessions are one of the most valuable parts of the workshop. You will receive feedback from other participants in the workshop and from workshop leaders.
    • If you registered for 'Improving Research Proposals' Use the proposal summary upload form to submit your research proposal summary. (Read the proposal instructions first!) Participants who submit these proposal summaries in advance will get to have them reviewed by one or more of the workshop leaders.
    • If you registered for "Improving Teaching Activities and Assignments," use the assignment upload form to submit your teaching activity or assignment.
    • If you do not recall for which session you registered, or if you wish to change the session that you will attend, then please send a note to Carol Ormand (cormand AT carleton DOT edu).

Prior to the workshop

  • If you are flying, make your arrangements for ground transportation to the University of Maryland. See the logistics page for options.
  • Optional: If you know of a good resource for early career faculty in the geosciences, please suggest a book for our virtual bookshelf.
  • Optional: Share your wisdom with your colleagues. Based on your experience, what advice do you have for other early career faculty members about time management or work-life balance, or for graduate students and post-docs about the academic job search process?
  • If you are going to NSF, keep reading... Otherwise, that's it.

Preparing for Your Visit to NSF

Our visit to the National Science Foundation is always an exciting, energizing part of the Early Career workshop. We will allocate a bit of time during the workshop to get organized for the visit. In addition, to make the most of this opportunity, we suggest that you do the following before coming to the workshop:

  • Prepare a two-page bio/resume (NSF style bio sketch instructions can be found here, under section F)
  • Review the NSF visit schedule and think about which sessions you most want to attend when there are concurrent sessions.
  • Think about your questions and bring them with your ideas and your energy. Spending the day at NSF is always a mind-expanding experience (and a lot of fun, especially if you are well-prepared!). The program directors are top-notch scholars with their fingers on the pulse of the action in their respective fields. Meeting them is a great learning opportunity and can help you to clarify your research plans and figure out your next steps. It is their job to meet with members of the scientific community and they enjoy their work. We strongly encourage everyone to sign up for an individual meeting with the appropriate program director. Participants who met individually with program directors during prior workshops, even participants whose ideas about a potential project were very general, found that the program directors were very helpful in providing feedback for the project.
  • Think about how you will introduce yourself to your program director in about one minute. Your introduction should include: a) name and affiliation, b) disciplinary expertise, and c) your research area or topic including why you think it is an important topic (e.g. relevance to society).
  • Be ready to speak concisely about your favorite one or two research proposal ideas. (Bring extra copies of your proposal summary if you have one.) Be able to clearly state the goal or hypothesis, how this fits within your larger research direction or program, the benefits of this type of research, and how you will accomplish it.
  • Pack professional clothes. (Jeans are probably not appropriate.)