Fall 2017

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The 2017-18 Academic Job Search Series is co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Services, The Graduate School, and the Career Center.

Note: Most of the seminars will be video recorded and added to the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel. As each video becomes available online, the link will be added to the corresponding seminar below.
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Science and Engineering Seminars

Tues Sept 19, 9-10:30 am

WHAT: Behind the Scenes with the Search Committee: The Academic Application Process (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Sciences and Engineering)
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Search

In this session, a faculty panel in the sciences and engineering will discuss the faculty recruitment process from the search committee’s perspective. Topics include what the search committee looks for in application documents (CV, cover letter, research/teaching statements), the screening process, and selecting candidates to interview.

Panelists:

  • Patrick Charbonneau, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
  • Douglas Marchuk, PhD, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
  • Amanda Randles, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • John Willis, PhD, Professor of Biology

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel


Weds Oct 11, 9-10:30 am

WHAT: Academic CV & Cover Letter Workshop for STEM Graduate Students & Postdocs
WHERE: Rm 270 Gross Hall
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a5ULpnsJHsX6pRr

A curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter are key documents when applying to postdoc positions and academic jobs. An exceptional CV is more than just a list of your academic accomplishments; it allows you to market yourself to potential mentors and search committees as a compelling candidate. Academic cover letters are your opportunity to expand on your CV, tell your personal narrative, and convince the reader how you will add value to their department. In this workshop, you will learn how to craft compelling CVs and cover letters that emphasize how your specific skills and experiences will fit within and enrich academic institutions.


Tues Oct 17, 9-10:30 am

WHAT: The Academic Interview (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Sciences and Engineering)
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Interview

In this session, a panel faculty members in the sciences and engineering will discuss the interview process for faculty jobs, including the campus visit, the job talk/chalk talk, and typical interview questions.

Panelists:

  • Damaris Lorenzo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (former Duke postdoc)
  • Ann Marie Pendergast, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University
  • Amanda Randles, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University
  • John Willis, PhD, Professor of Biology, Duke University

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel


Tues Oct 31, 9:30-10:30 am

WHAT: Managing a Research Budget: Panel Discussion for STEM Graduate Students and Postdocs
WHERE: Rm 103 Bryan Research Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Budget

Research budgets can be a nebulous topic unless you are a faculty member. How many grants should you apply for? How many graduate students or postdocs could you take on? Where does the money for your salary come from? Come to this panel to discuss these questions and more with faculty.

Panelists:

  • Debra Silver, PhD, Associate Professor, Duke Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
  • Michael Zavlanos, PhD, Assistant Professor, Duke Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
  • Mollie Sykes, Senior Business Manager, Duke Cell Biology (former Associate Dean for Research Administration)

Thurs Nov 2, 9-10 am

WHAT: Negotiating the Academic Job Offer (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Sciences and Engineering)
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Negotiating

In this session, a panel of faculty members will discuss the negotiation process. Questions include:
– What does a typical start-up package look like? How much can you negotiate it, and how can you provide justification for asking for more?
– How much grant money are you expected to bring if you get hired?
– What are some common pitfalls in the negotiation process?
– Can you negotiate for a position for your partner or spouse? If so, when do you bring it up?

Panelists:

  • Kate Meyer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
  • Chris Nicchitta, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology and Associate Dean for Research Training
  • Jonathan Viventi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • John Willis, PhD, Professor of Biology

Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars

Fri Sept 22, 2-4 pm

WHAT: The Art of the Academic Job Letter: an Interdisciplinary Workshop for Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate Students and Postdocs
WHERE: 153 Rubenstein Library (Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Letter

In this hands-on, interactive session led by the TWP Writing Studio, participants will receive guidance and personalized feedback on writing cover letters for academic positions. Crafting strong CVs to complement letters will also be discussed. Participants are requested to bring a draft of an academic cover letter in progress.


Thurs Sept 28, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Behind the Scenes with the Search Committee: The Academic Application Package (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences)
WHERE: Rm 218 Perkins Library
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017SearchHumSS

In this session, a panel of faculty in the humanities and social sciences will discuss the faculty recruitment process from the search committee’s perspective. Topics include what the search committee looks for in application documents (CV, cover letter, research/teaching statements), the screening process, and selecting candidates to interview.

Panelists:

  • Sujin Pak Boyer, PhD, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity, Duke Divinity School (PhD ’06, Religion)
  • David R. Long, PhD, Dean & Department Head, Arts, Sciences & University Transfer, Durham Technical Community College
  • Christopher Paul, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, North Carolina Central University (PhD ’16, Environmental Policy)

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel


Tues Oct 3, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: The Interview Process for Faculty Positions (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences)
WHERE: Rm 218 Perkins Library
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017InterviewHumSS

In this session, a panel of faculty members in the social sciences and humanities will discuss the interview process for faculty jobs, including the campus visit, the job talk/chalk talk, and typical interview questions.

Panelists:

  • Candace Bailey, PhD, Professor, Music, North Carolina Central University (PhD ’92, Music)
  • Michael Cary, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Duke University
  • Rod Clare, PhD, Associate Professor of History and Interim Department Chair for History and Geography (PhD ’02, History)

Weds Oct 4, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Humanities and Social Science Postdocs: What, Where, Why, and How
WHERE: Friedl 225
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017HumSSPostdocs

With so much emphasis on the tenure-track job market, it can be easy for graduate students to overlook postdoctoral opportunities. Join us for an informal, engaging conversation about postdoc appointments and how they can advance an academic career.  We’ll discuss how to locate and evaluate opportunities, how to be a competitive candidate, and how to make the most of your time as a postdoc.

Panelists:

  • Kathryn Desplanque, PhD, Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow for Faculty Diversity, UNC-CH (PhD, Art History ’17)
  • Adam Mestyan, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Duke University (formerly Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University)
  • Molly Starback, MSLS, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Services, Duke University
  • Wenqing Zhao, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Philosophy, Duke University

Mon Oct 23, 3:00-4:30 pm

WHAT: Negotiating the Academic Job Offer (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Humanities and Social Sciences)
WHERE: Rm 218 Perkins Library
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017OfferHumSS

In this session, a panel of faculty members from the humanities and social sciences address common elements that can be negotiated when an offer is extended. They also answer questions about common pitfalls in the process.

Panelists:

  • Olga Hawn, PhD, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Distinguished Fellow, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-CH (PhD ’12, Business Administration)
  • David Rohde, PhD, Professor of Political Science, Duke University
  • Sarah Roth, PhD, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, Meredith College
  • Joel Alden Schlosser, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Bryn Mawr College (PhD ’09, Political Science)
  • Mina García Soormally, PhD, Associate Professor of Spanish, Elon University (PhD ’07, Spanish Language and Literature)

Seminars for All Postdocs and Graduate Students

Mon Sept 11, 12-1:30 pm

WHAT: The Tech-Savvy Academic Job Search
WHERE: Perkins Library rm 217
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Tech

In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to use an RSS aggregator to simultaneously collect search results from hundreds of job posting sites, including the Chronicle of Higher Education and many other well-established, reputable sources of academic job postings (it really is much more efficient than getting email alerts.) Bring your laptop. This workshop is suitable for postdocs and graduate students in all academic disciplines.

Speaker: Hugh Crumley, PhD, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Duke University Graduate School


Mon Oct 2, 12-1:30 pm

WHAT: The Teaching Statement
WHERE: Perkins Library rm 217
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Statement

A teaching portfolio is more than a collection of documents: it is set of claims about your teaching and evidence to support them. In this workshop, you will examine how claims and evidence can be framed in way that allows you demonstrate your skill (or potential) as a university instructor in a teaching statement supported by materials created by you (such as videos, handouts and student assignments). This workshop is suitable for postdocs and graduate students in all academic disciplines.

Speaker: Hugh Crumley, PhD, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Duke University Graduate School


Tues Oct 17, 2:30-3:30 pm

WHAT: Inside Graduate Admissions: An Introduction for Future Faculty
WHERE: Rm 217 Perkins Library
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Inside

Graduate students and postdocs preparing for faculty careers at research institutions will likely participate in graduate admissions—but they likely have little information about the process. Who does the system work for, and who falls through its cracks? Drawing on firsthand observations of admission committees and interviews with faculty in 10 top-ranked doctoral programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, Julie Posselt, PhD, will pull back the curtain on a process usually conducted in secret. Posselt presents admissions from decision makers’ point of view, including thought-provoking episodes of committees debating the process, interviewing applicants, and grappling with borderline cases. Who ultimately makes the admit list reveals as much about how professors see themselves—and each other—as it does about how they view students. To help future faculty members promote transparency and accountability, Posselt shares concrete strategies to improve admissions review. This session will include ample opportunity for questions and conversation.

Speaker: Julie Posselt, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellow. Her book Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping was published by Harvard University Press in 2016.


Thurs Oct 19, 3-5 pm

WHAT: Gender Differences in Academia: Challenges and Choices along Career Paths in Higher Education
WHERE: French Family Science Center rm 2231
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Gender

Men and women are still treated differently based on gender stereotypes, and higher education is not immune to gender bias. Whether one is seeking a career as a faculty member or some other type of position within academia, knowing the potential challenges one can experience is important. This presentation explores some of the possible situations women and men may encounter as well as provide information on current research findings related to the gender divide in college and university settings. Case studies will be shared so as to explore solutions and develop approaches to addressing gender discrimination.

Speaker: Rhonda Sutton, PhD, LPC, Director of College Leadership Programs, NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Tues Oct 24, 9-11 am

WHAT: Understanding Power and Politics in Higher Education
WHERE: 153 Rubenstein Library (Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2017Power

Many postdocs and graduate students are aiming for a traditional tenure-track job, but have little experience with how the university system “actually works” in terms of budget realities, politics, and the hierarchy of decision-making. In this seminar, Belinda Lee Huang, PhD, will discuss:

  • Roles and responsibilities of the key players in university governance (faculty, administration, board of trustees, student groups) and their influence on each other.
  • Challenges of governance, management and leadership in universities.
  • Typical academic organizational structures at R-1 Research Universities and other types of institutions (eg PUIs, HBCUs, community colleges).
  • How you, as new faculty, can influence the university.
  • Reading the politics of the situation.
  • Finding allies/mentors to help you succeed.

Speaker: Belinda Lee Huang, PhD, is Visiting Assistant Professor in Higher Education Administration at George Washington University. Recently she served as Executive Director of the National Postdoctoral Association, overseeing management of the association and advocating nationally for postdoctoral scholars. Previously, she created and led an undergraduate student affairs program at the Wharton School. Huang has published on the topics of postdoctoral policy and resources, faculty of color, campus climate, and pathways to senior leadership for women of color.