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Landing a job in Academia Robin K. Cameron Department of Biology Hamilton,Ontario, Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "Landing a job in Academia Robin K. Cameron Department of Biology Hamilton,Ontario, Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 Landing a job in Academia Robin K. Cameron Department of Biology Hamilton,Ontario, Canada

2 Why I think I’m qualified to give advice on getting an Academic job 2 academic & 1 industry interviews - 1 st job 7 academic interviews - 2 nd job

3 Know what to expect, be prepared

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6 Landing an academic job 1. Applying for the job 2. Preparing for the Interview 3. The Interview 4. After the interview

7 Applying for the job What to send? What they ask for. -Cover Letter ( your fit, what would you add) -CV -Research Interests -Teaching Interests or Philosophy -letters of reference -most significant publications

8 Applying for the job CV -standard academic style - don’t list your skills (weave them into your research interests/statement) You are applying for an Academic position not graduate school or a post-doc

9 Applying for the job Research Statement, Plan, Interests -a mini grant proposal (2- 5 pages) -include people who will do the work (students, post-docs, yourself) Show them that you have a plan to answer interesting and important scientific or engineering questions.

10 Applying for the job Teaching Interests or Philosophy (1-5 pages) -teaching style -how do you inspire students? -what ideas or concepts do you want to convey? - what topics have you taught - what would you like to teach? -get advice from lecturers you admire

11 Preparing for the Interview Go to the Departmental web site and get to know the Faculty -especially those you will be meeting with during your interview Potential collaborators? Expertise that might be useful to you? Expertise that you have & who might benefit?

12 Preparing for the Interview: the Job Talk (45 to 50 minutes, don’t go over) -Find out about the audience (experts & non-experts?) -Introduction that everyone can follow (10’) -get across why your research is interesting and significant in your field (25’). -Discuss your future plans (10’) -know who the experts in your field are and imagine what types of questions they will ask -practice with your supervisor and/or lab mates

13 Preparing for the Interview Preparing the Teaching Lecture -get advice from experienced lecturers -the faculty will pretend to be students & will ask questions -if possible, don’t pick a topic that you are not familiar with. -know which faculty are the experts & if you don’t know, admit it!

14 The Interview 1.5 to 2 days in length You will meet with the: Chair, Dean/Assoc. Dean, members of the search committee, other interested Faculty, Graduate Students Job Talk, Teaching Lecture Lunch and Dinner and Breakfast

15 The Interview - Practical Tips If you have trouble eating when you are nervous, snack before you go to the interview. Don’t be too shy to ask for a bathroom break. How to dress Biologists - almost anything goes, although wearing jeans may be too casual. Engineers - wear a good suit Chemists, Physicists?

16 The Interview Your Goal -impress them with your Science & Personality -convince them that you fit the job & dept. -check out the equipment & facilities -convince them that you are ready to make the jump from Grad Student or Post-doc to Supervisor

17 The Interview Their Goal -to find out if you & your research fit the department (do they want to work with you on committees for the next years). -to impress you with their Science, Personalities and Facilities. -to find out if you are ready to become a supervisor?

18 The Interview - Meetings with… Chair Describe the department, take you on a tour of the facilities, talk about teaching, inform you about the tenure process, answer any question you might have. Dean/Associate Dean Tell you about the University

19 The Search Committee The Search Committee ( 4-8 people) Faculty in your field or related fields, A Graduate Student, a Faculty member from another department

20 The Interview Meeitng with theSearch Committee Meeitng with the Search Committee -the most difficult part of the interview, often done over lunch (try to eat right away) -standard questions that each candidate is asked -plus ones specific to each candidate or department

21 The Interview Search Committee Meeting The Interview - Search Committee Meeting Sample Questions Name two scientists whose work has inspired you? If you won the lottery, what would you do with the $ Defend your Publication record (too little or low impact) What sorts of projects would you give to students (undergrad & grad) or post-docs?

22 The Interview, Search Committee Meeting Sample Questions continued What sort of a supervisor will you be? Do you want a big or small research group? Funding Sources? Can you compete for funding? What specialized equipment will you need?

23 Sample Questions continued Can you see yourself collaborating with anyone in the Department or the University? What would you like to teach? Tell us about your teaching experience. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

24 Sample Questions continued What sets you apart from others in your field? Will you be competing directly with others in your field and if so, will you succeed? Why should we hire you? How will you contribute to the Dept? What novel contributions have you made to your field?

25 The Interview Individual Meetings with Faculty The Interview - Individual Meetings with Faculty -know what each works on -they will tell you about their work Show interest, Ask Questions -specific questions about your work or your talk -discuss potential collaborations -they may tell you about why they like the University, the neighbourhood, the city, the country - you can ask questions about the city etc.

26 The InterviewMeeting with Graduate Students The Interview - Meeting with Graduate Students (often over lunch the second day) They may ask you what sort of supervisor you would like to be? They will try to get an idea of whether you would be a good supervisor & teacher You can ask about the Grad program & how they feel about it. You can often get an idea about problems by chatting with the Graduate students

27 Who Decides who gets an offer? Non-committee members submit comments & can influence the committee The committee decides in some departments or The committee makes recommendations and the whole department votes

28 After the Interview -some people to thank the chair for an interesting and enjoyable visit. -some to say thank you and ask when an offer will be made

29 After the Interview If you were prepared & the interview went well, but you don’t’ get an offer, don’t take it to heart. You may not have been the right fit in terms of research or teaching. They may have interviewed you even though your research didn’t quite fit because - you are a woman - or a visible minority They may have realized that they didn’t have enough Start-up $ to support your research

30 Start preparing right now for your Academic interview and career -go to job talks in your department -think about why you think some are better than others -critique seminars you attend in the same way Work on improving your own seminar presentation skills now -think about why you enjoy some lecturers more than others -think about what you’ve learned as a teaching assistant (your teaching style, how you convey important concepts) Start working on your teaching philosophy now See if you can a guest lecture for your supervisor

31 Know what to expect, be prepared


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