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How to Apply for an Academic Position

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How to Apply for an Academic Position Workshop #1 of How to Jump Start Your Academic Career Michael Gooseff mng2_at_psu.edu Nov. 27, 2007 CEE Penn State University – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Apply for an Academic Position


1
How to Apply for an Academic Position
  • Workshop 1 of How to Jump Start Your Academic
    Career
  • Michael Gooseff
  • mng2_at_psu.edu

Nov. 27, 2007 CEE Penn State University
2
Resources
  • Handout with this presentation
  • make lots of notes
  • Web page www.engr.psu.edu/mgooseff/academic.html
  • Evolving resource of advice, links, and
    experiences
  • ANGEL group site?
  • The faculty!

3
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

4
Part 2 How to Interview for an Academic
Position Overview
  • Preparing to interview
  • Research the institution
  • Teaching/research seminars
  • Questions, questions
  • What to expect when you are there
  • Whom you are likely to meet
  • Fair questions/unfair questions

5
How Does the Process Work?
  • Position/specialty need is identified by a
    department
  • Department requests the line from
    administration line is approved
  • A search committee is formed
  • A description is written
  • HR edits/approves the description
  • Ads are initiated
  • POSITION NOW EXISTS
  • Applications are submitted

6
How Does the Process Work?
  • You should receive confirmation
  • ALL applications are reviewed
  • A short-list (10-12?) of qualified/preferred
    applicants is generated
  • References contacted
  • The top 3-4 applicants are decided upon
  • The top 3-4 applicants are invited to interview
  • You will be contacted
  • Interviews occur
  • An offer is made to the most preferred candidate
  • Dept head, dean, or head of search will call you
  • Happiness ensues

7
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

8
Motivation
  • Why do you want an academic career?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • Top tier research university
  • Less than top tier research university
  • Top tier teaching school
  • Less than top tier teaching school
  • Research institution

9
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

10
Are You Prepared?
  • Have you published or do you have papers in
    review or in press?
  • Have you designed coursework and/or taught
    before?
  • Have you published or do you have papers in
    review or in press? (its important enough to
    mention more than once)
  • Where do you want to go with your research?

11
Are You Prepared?
  • Have you published or do you have papers in
    review or in press? (no really, it is)
  • Have you presented your research at large
    conferences?
  • To be ahead of your competition you should
    demonstrate that you can succeed in
  • Scholarship (publications)
  • Academics (teaching)
  • Research (grantsmanship project execution)
  • Service (being a team player)

12
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

13
Where to Find Ads
  • Institution HR or dept web pages
  • Scientific/Engineering publication classifieds
  • Scientific/Engineering organization or society
    classifieds
  • Higher Education Journals and websites
  • Most of these are on the web!
  • A few other considerations
  • Do you care where you live?
  • Do you want a big school or small school feel?
  • Is tailgating important?

14
What do they mean?
  • Common phrases in position ads
  • tenure track position
  • teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • develop a nationally and internationally
    recognized research program
  • Watch the adjectives and adverbs
  • Many superlatives will show up

15
Example Ad 1 Structural Eng.
  • The Department of Architectural Engineering at
    Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo is seeking applications
    for two full-time, academic year tenure track
    positions for the teaching of structural
    analysis, design, and construction of buildings.
    Starting date is September 8, 2008. Salary is
    commensurate with qualifications and experience.
    Candidates should also have a strong interest in
    the inter-relationship between structural
    engineering and architecture and construction,
    both in the academic context and in practice.
    Required qualifications for the position are
    either a doctorate in structural engineering or
    a closely related field, along with evidence of
    scholarship related to building structures or a
    masters degree in structural engineering, a
    structural engineering license (or equivalent
    with the ability to obtain an S.E. license within
    3 years) and significant experience in
    professional practice (a minimum of 10 years of
    full-time practice.) In addition to teaching and
    service, the successful candidate is expected to
    be active in the scholarship of teaching,
    discovery, integration and/or application. For
    more information and to complete a required
    online faculty application, please visit
    WWW.CALPOLYJOBS.ORG and search for Requisition
    101422. Review of applications will begin
    December 17, 2007. Applications received after
    this date may be considered.

16
Example Ad 2
  • Colorado School of Mines (CSM) invites
    applications for an anticipated tenure-track
    Assistant Professor position in the field of
    Surface Water/Watershed Hydrology. The successful
    candidate will teach at the undergraduate and
    graduate levels, direct graduate research, and
    develop a strong, externally funded research
    program. Candidates must possess a doctoral
    degree in an appropriate science or engineering
    field, potential for excellence in teaching, the
    ability to develop external research funding, and
    superb interpersonal and communication skills.
    Registration as a Professional Engineer, or the
    qualifications to become registered, is required.
    For a complete job announcement and instructions
    on how to apply, please visit our web site at
    http//www.is.mines.edu/hr/Faculty_Jobs.shtm.
  • CSM is an EEO/AA employer.

17
Example Ad 3
Penn State University 2006-07 season
18
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

19
Why Apply?
  • You fit the position description and need a job
    soon!
  • You fit the description, but wont be done for a
    year or so
  • You marginally fit the job description but think
    this will be a good networking opportunity

20
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

21
Your Application
  • Presentation on paper is everything
  • Lists of accomplishments look good
  • Typical Components
  • Cover Letter (1 pg, 2 w/exp)
  • Statement of teaching interests (1 pg, 2 w/exp)
  • Statement of research interests (1 pg, w/exp)
  • CV (several pages)
  • Reference list (1 page)

22
Your Application Cover Letter
  • Components
  • Be explicit I am applying to
  • Convince the reader you are the right fit for the
    institution and the position description
  • This is the only place you can explain
    yourself, so be careful what you say!
  • Be courteous Thank you for reviewing

23
Your Application Cover Letter
  • Some Donts
  • Do not embellish. Demonstrate that you are a
    good fit, but let your references give you kudos
  • Do not use letterhead from your current
    institution.
  • Do not make any judgments, particularly if they
    are negative (I dont like)

24
Your Application Statement of Teaching
Interests
  • If you have no teaching experience or only TA
    experience, then convince the reader that
  • You have great ideas for how to teach
  • Maybe even draw on your own educational
    experiences
  • You will be a terrific teacher by
  • Developing excellent class materials
  • Using cutting-edge teaching techniques
  • Convey enthusiasm for teaching!

25
Your Application Statement of Teaching
Interests
  • If you have do have teaching experience, then
  • Convince the reader that your experience has made
    you a better teacher
  • Provide evidence (even if anecdotal) of your
    effectiveness
  • Student verbal responses
  • Student evaluations of teaching
  • Convey enthusiasm for teaching!

26
Your Application Statement of Research
Interests
  • Briefly state your important findings to date
  • Demonstrate how you will leverage that experience
    to move the state of science forward
  • Articulate the direction
  • Will you work with others? In particular?
  • Incorporate graduate and undergraduates?

27
Your Application Statement of Research
Interests
  • A common question Where will you seek funding
    for your big ideas?
  • Thus, its worth thinking about how your research
    may be funded
  • Distinguish yourself from your advisor and your
    peers

28
Your Application CV
  • This should include the following parts
  • Contact info
  • Education history
  • Employment history (applicable to academia)
  • Teaching experience (if not already covered)
  • Advising (if you have done any)
  • Honors and Awards
  • Publications (KEY)
  • Conference presentations (list may be too long)
  • Professional Service

29
Your Application Reference List
  • 1 page only
  • Be confident that your refs will write positive,
    and effective letters
  • If they ask for n, give them n1
  • Give them full information, including whether
    they will be on sabbatical leave or not (and may
    be difficult to reach)
  • Give them just a little narrative about how these
    folks relate to you

30
A few more thoughts
  • Example publications are not always requested,
    but if you have 1 or 2, include them in your
    application
  • You never know what people are going to read so,
  • A little redundancy is okay (but limit it)
  • Make sure grammar and spelling are correct!
  • After generating a few of these, it will become
    easier to modify for specific ads

31
A few more thoughts
  • Number the pages of your application x/total just
    in case some part of it gets misplaced
  • Remember that an honest portrayal of who you are
    will be best for all involved
  • Regardless of what happens for each application,
    it is always improving

32
Part 1 Overview
  • How the position originates
  • Your motivation
  • Are you prepared?
  • Reading (and translating) ads
  • Should You Apply?
  • Writing Your Application
  • Follow-up

33
Follow-up
  • What you should expect from them
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of your materials
  • No news is good news for a while
  • Should you call/email?
  • Sure, at any reasonable time
  • However, BE PATIENT

34
The End
  • Resources
  • Web page
  • ANGEL site
  • Please evaluate this workshop via the ANGEL site
    after it is established
  • All constructive criticism is welcome!
  • CEE Faculty
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