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Panel discussion presented by David Scott at the 2010 NSF ADVANCE Workshop: Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position, A Workshop for Underrepresented PhDs and Postdocs in Science, Engineering and Psychology September 19-21, 2010

You've gotten the phone call

Congratulations!

A committee has judged you as a potential good fit.

The interview is your chance to seal the deal.

  • Lots of details arranging a visit.
  • Have a calendar at hand.
  • Being asked to interview first may be a very good sign.
  • If you are fortunate enough to be asked by several institutions to visit, think carefully about conflicts.
  • What if you interview on Jan 8 and get an offer good for two weeks, and your first choice interview is on Feb 12? (You can only say “yes" once.)

What is going on behind the scene?

  • A search committee has selected 3-4 candidates.
  • The entire faculty agrees.
  • The chair calls the candidates and schedules visits.
  • An itinerary is constructed for each candidate.
  • The interview occurs.
  • The chair and search committee re-evaluate the candidates. A recommendation to the department is composed.
  • The department votes to make an offer.
  • The Dean must sign off
  • You get the call.

Start your preparations

Putting together your talk is the most important item. Emilia Morosan will tell you how, in a few minutes.

  • Preparation (and practice) are key.
  • You may meet fifteen or twenty faculty.
  • You may have one-on-one interviews with
    • Department chair
    • Dean of the School
    • Ten senior faculty (and junior faculty)
    • A selection of graduate students
  • Read everything you can about the department.

How should you prepare to meet faculty?

Focus your attention on the Chair and on key faculty in your research area.

  • Read CV's carefully and thoroughly.
  • The conversation will not just be about your thesis research.
  • How will you complement the department's current work?
  • What new area(s) of expertise will you offer?
  • Read several papers by these faculty. You can suggest possible collaborations. You can ask probing questions.
  • Do not be passive or overly deferential. You are not a graduate student, but a faculty candidate!

What should you expect?

  • Some faculty will view their role as educating (“selling") you about the department, the university, and the town.
  • Some faculty will focus on your teaching interests, and curriculum development.
  • Some faculty will probe your understanding of the "big picture." What directions interest you? What do you plan to undertake in the next ten years? (Hard)
  • Some faculty will ask probing questions about your research.
  • Have answers ready! Ask for clarification rather than ramble. It is OK to say “I don't know," or qualify your answer.

Prepare your questions

You do not want to leave after two days uncertain if you would take the job if offered. You should ask about

  • the tenure process
  • teaching expectations (and load)
  • how I will fit in
  • research/publication expectations (which journals?)
  • external funding expectations
  • startup benefits (lab, reduced teaching)
  • would it be OK if I write a large software package

The generational issue

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall–the Class of 2014–were born in 1992.

For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

  • Few in the class know how to write in cursive
  • Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail
  • "Go West, Young College Grad" has always implied "and don't stop until you get to Asia…and learn Chinese along the way."
  • Al Gore has always been animated.
  • Los Angelenos have always been trying to get along.
  • Buffy has always been meeting her obligations to hunt down Lothos and the other blood-suckers at Hemery High.
  • "Caramel macchiato" and "venti half-caf vanilla latte" have always been street corner lingo
  • With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder disabilities
  • Had it remained operational, the villainous computer HAL could be their college classmate this fall, but they have a better c folks on Parents' Weekend.
  • Entering college this fall in a country where a quarter of young people under 18 have at least one immigrant parent, they involves "real" aliens from another planet.
  • John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.
  • Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry

Seriously, does it matter?

The interview does not end with interviews and your talk. Conversations at meals/receptions are just as important.

  • You probably have been incredibly busy with your research and writing.
  • You may have given up reading the newspaper or watching TV news.
  • You need a crash course on current events.
  • It is OK not to know which TV series Clint Eastwood was in: Wagon Train , Rawhide , or Gunsmoke .
  • It is not OK to have nothing to offer on current events.
  • Be prepared to engage in a conversation about hobbies/activities you enjoy. The total package.

As the interview ends

  • Typically, you will have a final meeting with the Department Chair
  • “Do you have any last questions?”
  • Don't be disappointed if the signals are ambiguous
  • “We'll be in touch.”
  • It is appropriate to express your appreciation of all the work and time spent on your interview.
  • If someone drives you to the airport, keep the conversation going. “I was very impressed by the questions the graduate students made...”

After the interview

  • A thank you note to the Department Chair is a good idea.
  • If you promised Professor X a copy of your paper, be sure to follow through.
  • (Keep notes. You will be completely exhausted by the end and your memory may blur important details.)
  • Think critically about what you learned during the interview.
  • If during a later interview, you realize you did not cover a particular topic, you can contact the Chair.
  • Or maybe you should wait for “the phone call."
  • Good Luck!

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 2010 nsf advance workshop: negotiating the ideal faculty position. OpenStax CNX. Feb 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11275/1.4
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