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: June 4

  • Note: No refunds will be made if you withdraw from the workshop after June 4, 2021. 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, Josh Galster, Ben Laabs, and Martin Wong (earlycareer.geosci AT immediately if you realize you will be unable to attend the workshop.

By June 8

  • If you are going to the virtual NSF visit, take a look at the schedule and choose your session using the NSF Session Choices Form. 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 Ben Laabs and Josh Galster at

By June 17:

  • 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 17. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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, you can look it up on this list of the concurrent sessions. You will need to log in to your SERC account to see the list. If you do not yet have a SERC account, clicking on the "concurrent session participants" link will re-direct you to a page where you can make one. Use the email address you used to register for the workshop and you will automatically have access to the page.
  • If you wish to change the session that you will attend, please send a note to Carol Ormand (cormand AT carleton DOT edu).

Prior to the workshop:

  • Review the materials in the "Before the Workshop" section of the Workshop Program
  • Create a SERC account, if you do not yet have one. You can do so by filling out the form on the right side of this account page. Please note that your access to private workshop webspaces is tied to the email address associated with your SERC account, so please use the same email you had registered with or contact Carol Ormand (cormand AT carleton DOT edu) if you need to make adjustments.
  • 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

We suggest that you do the following before 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 time with NSF staff 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. (You can give them 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.
  • Wear professional clothes.

*NAGT Membership: Accepted participants will receive a code they can use to apply to a regular NAGT membership for the 2021 calendar year ($75 value, only redeemable for NAGT membership). If the participant is already an NAGT member, they can apply the code to renew their 2022 membership for free. Through your NAGT membership, you will be part of a diverse community of geoscientists and educators who support each other by sharing their expertise, share common interests, and pursue common goals. Explore NAGT member benefits.