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2006 presentation in the Rice University NSF Advance Conference entitled “Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position”. The focus of this presentation was educating graduate students and post-docs who aspire to academic faculty positions regarding the university promotion and tenure process. The authors of this presentation were Julia Morgan, Earth Science; Jennifer West, Bioengineering; and Kathleen S. Matthews, Dean of Natural Sciences.

Workshop Authors: Morgan, J., West, J. and Matthews K.

Slide 1: what can i do now?

  • Think about your steps all along the way
    • Consistently evaluate your own progress
      • Goals
      • Mechanisms to get there
      • Ways to learn from others and engage them
    • Keep data on all your activities
    • Ask for feedback
      • Grant writing
      • Papers
      • Teaching
  • This process is the accumulation of years of effort
    • THINK AHEAD!!!

Slide 2: understand the general process

  • Learn about the promotion and tenure process at your institution
    • Ask about the process when you interview
  • Request a copy of the policy
    • Be sure when you are interviewing that the policy is consistent with your personal goals
  • Understand the balance of teaching, research, and service that the institution AND the department will expect

Slide 3: general process


  • Summary of your independent career at institution
  • Information on all aspects of your career
    • Research summary (publications, grants, citations, awards)
    • Teaching summary (courses, evaluations, awards)
    • Service summary (activities, awards)
  • Inside reviews/letters
  • Outside letters****
    • Writers identified by department
    • Also usually writers identified by individual

Understand the timing of preparing the dossier, what you should submit and when

  • If you should submit names for Outside Letters

Understand the process completely

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your materials

  • Think about your research/teaching summary
  • Ensure that your papers are submitted in a timely way

Ask QUESTIONS if you do not understand

Outside Letters

  • Highly influential in decision process
  • May have opportunity to suggest names
    • Develop relationships - create a network
    • MARKET yourself!
  • Post-decision: Ask about possibility for feedback from the letters (can be useful)
  • Anticipate whom you would want to write letters and get to know those individuals

Slide 4: publications

  • Demonstrate your contributions
  • Provide evidence of your independence
    • Issues of collaborators
      • How many?
      • How much of your time?
  • Used to assess your productivity
    • Numbers vary widely among disciplines
    • Type of publications expected also vary widely
  • Used to assess the quality of work produced
    • Citations
    • H-factor
    • Impact on the field

Slide 5: factors considered

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Service
    • These factors combine to reach a decision — but the specific combination varies widely across institutions

Slide 6: research

  • Publications/Citations/h-factor
    • Way you are known for your work
  • Grants
    • Demonstrate ability to secure funding for research
  • Presentations
    • Invitations reflect status in the field
  • Visibility/Engagement/Focus
    • Present at multiple conferences
    • Present at multiple conferences
    • Engage the leaders at those conferences
    • Invite leaders to your institution via department events
    • Reflect on level of focus in work and, if broad, engage multiple communities
  • Keep your CV up to date
    • Include students mentored at all levels (primary and secondary mentoring)
      • Undergraduates
      • Graduate Students
      • Post-doctoral Associates
    • Include advising responsibilities at all levels
    • Refereed publications
      • Some institutions request an evaluation of % effort on each
      • Citations — check your “h-factor”
    • Abstracts / Conference Proceedings
    • Presentations
      • Seminars/Workshops/Panels/etc.
      • Posters
      • Invited talks at meetings

Slide 7: teaching

  • Effectiveness
    • Often evaluated by students
    • Ask assigned or selected mentor to provide review
  • Innovation
    • Think about ways to do it better/more effectively
    • Engage students
  • Range/breadth
    • Assignments may be focused or broad
    • Be prepared to teach beyond your comfort zone
  • Enthusiasm
    • Convey why you love what you do
    • Occasionally volunteer for something extra
  • Develop of portfolio of your teaching
    • Syllabi
    • Handouts
    • Problem sets
    • Other written materials
    • Computer-based materials
    • Examinations
    • Copies of graded papers where there is a significant writing component
    • Evaluation by a colleague
    • Student evaluations

Slide 8: service

  • Department
    • Help your department accomplish the faculty’s goals
  • University
    • Engage in the broad community, but wisely — most P/T committees are broad
  • National Organizations
    • Choose wisely for visibility with minimum time
  • K12/Outreach Opportunities
    • Choose wisely, but make a difference

Slide 9: what happens after dossier is prepared?

  • Department Review
    • Tenured faculty generally involved in decision to recommend or deny tenure
    • Department chair writes letter
      • Some schools have subcommittee
  • School Review
    • Often school-level committee reviews and makes recommendation to dean
    • Dean makes recommendation
  • Promotion/Tenure Committee (Provost)
    • Makes recommendation to President
  • President makes final decision
  • Multiple levels of review — no one person makes the decision! Many voices are part of the process.

Slide 10: p/t versus performance reviews

  • Ask your institution about frequency and nature of performance reviews
    • Can be very helpful in guiding activities
    • Opportunity for mid-term feedback
    • Provide an internal view of accomplishments
      • Some may have external letters
      • Dossier can be similar to promotion dossier

Slide 11: are there answers to my questions?

  • How many publications do I need?
  • How much grant funding?
  • How many graduate students? Post-docs?
  • How good must my teaching be? Does it matter?
  • How do I know if I’m doing enough?

There are no “right” answers to these questions, because the process is a composite of all of these and varies from place to place:


Slide 12: questions?

Ask many, ask often….

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
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
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
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.
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
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
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
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
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
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.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
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.
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.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
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, 2006 nsf advance workshop: negotiating the ideal faculty position. OpenStax CNX. Jul 31, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10442/1.7
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