Preparing for an Academic Career
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. Workshop format will include presentations, discussions, small group activities such as application materials review and elevator pitch practice, and periods of informal Q & A with co-conveners, alumni of the workshop, and fellow participants. Each participant will develop or revise a plan for the next stage in their career and will cultivate ideas that they can immediately implement.
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 in the Geosciences 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 improve teaching immediately. Participants will choose among workshops, panels, 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 page. The travel stipend application deadline is April 5.
- See the Cutting Edge website 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.
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.
During the workshop and associated Rendezvous opportunities, each participant 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. 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: the elevator pitch and interviews.
- Explore aspects of effective and innovative teaching. Make your own selections from Monday-Wednesday afternoon Rendezvous workshops and sessions. These are open to you and included in registration.
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.