Preparing for an Academic Career

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30am-11:30am
Workshop

Conveners

Sue Ebanks, Savannah State University
Catherine Riihimaki, Princeton University
Lynsey LeMay, Thomas Nelson Community College
Lisa Gilbert, Williams College

This workshop is designed specifically for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and others who are interested in pursuing academic careers in the geosciences. Workshop leaders from a variety of institution types and career paths will provide guidance and information that will help participants to be stronger candidates for academic positions and to succeed in academic jobs. Each participant will develop or revise a plan for their next career stage and will take home ideas that they can immediately implement. Informal discussions and one-on-one mentoring are available during lunch breaks and afternoons. Participants will re-join the group for peer review of application materials on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Additional professional development is available through the afternoon workshops, roundtable discussions, panels, and plenary sessions that are part of the Earth Educators' Rendezvous.

Stipends

Thanks to generous donations from NAGT members and donors, this year's Preparing for an Academic Career workshop is currently able to offer stipends of 250 dollars each to a limited number of graduate student participants to help offset costs of participating in the workshop. There are currently 10 stipends available, and criteria for selection will start with first time graduate student applicants and those who show a demonstrated need on a first-come first-served basis; subsequent applicants will be placed on a waitlist in case awards become available. Monetary awards will be disbursed following the workshop. In order to receive the award, recipients are required to register for the Rendezvous and complete the entire workshop and give a presentation at their home institution about their experience and report that activity to NAGT. Once the report is received, awards will be disbursed. For those applying for additional monetary support to attend the Earth Educators' Rendezvous, the limit on the combined award from Earth Educators' Rendezvous/NAGT sources (e.g. participation in review/NGSS tagging camps and/or travel stipends) is $500. Apply for a stipend by April 6 »

Overview

Securing a position and being successful in academia can seem daunting. Further, the universe of academic career options in the geosciences looks overwhelming. The Preparing for an Academic Career workshop has been designed to confront these concerns and discuss tips, strategies, and coping mechanisms for success in teaching and research in academia from a variety of geoscience professionals at a range of institutions.

What kind of institution is right for you? How can you craft the strongest research and teaching statements to land an interview? What does it take to get your first grant? What does it take to succeed as a teacher? How do you stay focused and keep your lab and classes motivated so you can meet criteria for tenure? The workshop will provide a stimulating and resource-rich environment in which to explore these kinds of questions and other important facets of an academic career.

Faculty members and administrators will provide guidance and information that will help participants to be stronger candidates for academic positions and to succeed in academic jobs. Session topics focus on becoming both a successful teacher and researcher. Each participant will develop or revise a plan for the next career stage and will take home ideas to immediately improve teaching. Participants will choose among workshops, panels, roundtable discussions, and plenary sessions that are part of the Earth Educator rendezvous on Monday-Wednesday afternoon and re-join the group for evening career-related discussions on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Limited travel funds are available for Rendezvous participants. Please see the Travel Stipend Application page (coming soon)
  • See the Teach the Earth portal for more resources on preparing for an academic career.

Who should attend

This workshop is designed specifically for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and others who are interested in pursuing academic careers in the geosciences (including geology, geochemistry, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, geography, environmental science, and other allied disciplines). We recommend faculty members already in a full-time faculty position consider attending the Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty instead.

Goals

The main goals of the workshop are for participants to improve their application and interview skills for academic jobs, become more effective at goal-setting and time management, and broaden their network (of colleagues and resources) to help jump-start their teaching and research as a faculty member.

As a participant, during the workshop and associated Rendezvous opportunities, you will:

  • Learn about academic careers in different educational settings (e.g., two-year colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, universities).
  • Develop a plan for your next career stage and set goals to move toward that plan.
  • Learn about the job search process and improve your job applications: Learn about documenting strengths and accomplishments in teaching and research, and develop or revise your teaching and research statements.
  • Improve your communication skills, including for your the elevator pitch and interviews.
  • Explore aspects of effective and innovative teaching. Be sure to make your own selections from Monday-Wednesday afternoon Rendezvous workshops and sessions. These are open to you and included in registration.

Format

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 have the opportunity to receive feedback on their elevator pitch and teaching and research statements. Participants will develop their own set of goals for teaching and research and follow through with post-workshop plans. Optional lunchtime gatherings will allow for further smaller group interaction and discussion of topics.