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The Academic Job Search: From A to Z

Duration: 9 am - 12 pm | Cost: $15
Lead Convener:  Elizabeth Canuel

The academic job search is a complex process that is influenced by internal and external pressures such as strategic planning, resource availability, teaching needs, and departmental and institutional politics. Candidates are expected to have more experience than in previous decades including demonstrated abilities to conduct research, publish, teach, engage in outreach, and some record of fund-raising through extramural grants. The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with as “behind the scenes” look at the job search process so that early career scientists can understand and negotiate the process more successfully.

The workshop will include introductions followed by four parts: (1) a description of the institutional timeline for job searches, (2) an explanation of what is expected of job candidates in different types of academic institutions, (3) interactive sessions on key aspects of the job search process, including preparing competitive application materials and a strong “job seminar” or “job talk”, and (4) a discussion about preparing for interviews and interview questions. Each of the four parts will include a question and answer period where participants can get feedback from the workshop leaders. The workshop may also include the opportunity to review teaching and research statements from successful job searches.

The workshop leaders include faculty members from different disciplines (biogeochemistry, chemistry, geology) who are at different stages of their careers (i.e., junior and senior faculty members), and who collectively are familiar with job searches in research universities, primarily undergraduate institutions, and community colleges, thereby providing a variety of perspectives about effective job search strategies. This workshop builds on resources on Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences available through “On the Cutting Edge,” a national professional development program for current and future geoscience faculty. 

Early career scientists (including graduate students and postdocs) who are curious about the job search process and want to know what they can do to improve their competitiveness should attend. Although the focus will be on academic jobs, many aspects of the workshop are relevant to a variety of professional positions and all are welcome to attend.

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