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Panel discussion presented by Rob Griffen and Jennifer Rudgers at the 2011 NSF ADVANCE Workshop: Negotiating the Ideal Faculty Position, A Workshop for Underrepresented PhDs and Postdocs in Science, Engineering and Psychology September 18-20, 2010

What do you want?

  • Do you want a strong sense of community and mentoring?
  • Do you want to be able to “do your own thing” without much interference?
  • What do you expect in terms of the graduate student community?
  • Do you want a department that values postdocs?
  • Think carefully about what you want and then formulate your process of preparation and interviewing
    • Ask the questions that matter to YOU
    • Engage faculty in the manner that YOU wish to be engaged (but always be polite!)
    • Demonstrate in your interactions the style that you will use as a faculty member

Prioritize your “wants” and know when to ask

Know what is important before your visit

  • Teaching load/teaching assistants – interview
    • Level, size of class, length of assignment
  • Mentoring programs (formal/informal) – interview
    • Ask assistant professors about mentoring received
    • Ask Chair about mentoring policies/procedures
  • Tenure expectations –balance of research/ teaching/service
  • Good work/life balance
  • Department confidentiality

What are your key issues?

  • Location – city central/rural
  • Colleagues in your area or related areas
  • Geographic area
  • Type of institution
    • Research intensive
    • Combined research/teaching
    • Teaching intensive with some research

Ways to get information


  • Search the department, school/college, institution
  • Look at the faculty pages
  • Look at the HR pages
  • Find community pages
    • Weather, special events, features of the area
  • Look for features of the institution and community that are important to you
  • What is the distribution of faculty in the department?
  • Would you be the only assistant professor?
  • What does that mean?
  • Are others who do research (either in your department or others) related to your own work?

Examine websites for resources

  • What tangible resources are present in your department?
    • Shared equipment, shared computing, etc.
  • Do courses have graduate teaching assistants?
    • You can find out more on an interview
  • What support is provided by the human resources department/division/organization

Policies for the organization

  • Many policies of interest are on-line, both institutional and departmental
  • Almost all institutions have a Human Resources webpage that gives policy information
  • Promotion and Tenure information
    • Also explore feedback before the P&T decision-making process

Talking points

Audience, particularly in interdisciplinary areas, can be quite varied in terms of background. Craft a message that is understood by readers from distinct backgrounds. In fields where research is a team effort, you have to acknowledge your collaborators while differentiating your key and important contributions to your work. Talk with your mentor(s) about strategies for presenting your work in the context of a team effort. Women are often less clear about their accomplishments and less willing to take credit for what they have done. Play to your strengths within your cultural context.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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
How can I make nanorobot?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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