Spring 2018

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.

Science and Engineering Seminars

Tues Feb 13, 9-10 am

WHAT: Negotiating the Academic Job Offer
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2018Negotiating

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?


  • 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

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Thurs Feb 15, 9-10:30 am

WHAT: Faculty Careers Beyond Duke
WHERE: 103 Bryan Research Auditorium
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8JtizTK7u0pygwB

Academic positions can take many forms depending on the institution. The average day at an R-1 institution is very different compared to a liberal arts college or a community college. In this panel session, faculty from various institutions will discuss their career path, how they prepared to go on the academic job market, and how academic hiring and promotion work. They will also discuss the split between research, teaching, and service, as well as work-life balance.


  • Cammey Cole Manning, PhD, Professor of Mathematics at Meredith College
  • Claire Gordy, PhD, Teaching Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University
  • Wendy Heck Grillo, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at North Carolina Central University
  • Margie Dietz, PhD, Instructor of Software and Web Development at Durham Technical Community College

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Weds Feb 21, 9:30-10:30 am

WHAT: Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Careers in the Sciences and Engineering
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2018NonTenure

Want to keep doing research or teaching in an academic institution, but not sure you want the same kind of career as your tenured or tenure-track PI? Our panel will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of non-tenure-track faculty appointments in the sciences and engineering.


  • Tyler Bletsch, PhD, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Jennifer Carbrey, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Cell Biology
  • Arthur Moseley, PhD, Associate Research Professor and Director of Proteomics, School of Medicine
  • Julie Reynolds, PhD, Associate Professor of the Practice, Biology

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Weds Feb 21, 2-3:30 pm

WHAT: Postdoc Search Workshop for STEM Graduate Students & Postdocs
WHERE: CIEMAS Bldg, Schiciano B
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_72pHvDUm8an6bLn

Are you considering doing a postdoc as a next step? A postdoc is a temporary position that helps you to build skills and resources, gain independence, and develop a professional network in order to obtain a full-time position. Most students are familiar with academic research postdocs, but did you know that there are also postdoctoral positions that involve teaching or working in industry R&D? In this workshop, we will discuss how to conduct a postdoc search, how to find positions, what to look for in a postdoc experience, and how to apply.

Mon Apr 2, 12-1:30 pm

WHAT: New Professor Sets Up Lab: The Good, The Bad, and (Not So) Ugly
WHERE: Nanaline Duke Auditorium, rm 147 (ground floor)
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2018SetsUpLab

Kimberly S. Chiew, PhD, is a former Duke postdoc who just last year (2017) transitioned to her new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Denver. At Denver, she is the Director of the DU Motivation, Affect, & Cognition (MAC) Lab, investigating the mechanisms by which motivation and affect influence human cognition and behavior. Kim will discuss how she set up her lab as a brand-new assistant professor and what she has learned since, including:

  • How to budget
  • How to hire (and hopefully not fire) lab personnel (eg, technicians, grad students, and postdocs)
  • How to manage your time and responsibilities (eg, publishing, getting funding)
  • Who to ask for help and guidance (eg, senior faculty, peers, and departmental staff)

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Fri Apr 6, 12-1 pm

WHAT: Perfecting your Pitch: An Application Strategy Workshop for Biomedical PhDs
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg (lunch provided; please bring your own beverage)
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9mhgl1TeP7UphfD

This interactive workshop is for PhD students and postdocs who are interested in effectively marketing themselves for postdoctoral or faculty positions at academic and non-profit research institutions.  Learn strategies for conducting a productive job search, how to best describe your accomplishments to prospective employers, and questions to ask before submitting an application. Participants will also gain experience deciphering job descriptions and evaluating opportunities from a personal and professional perspective.

Speaker: As University Relations Specialist for The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), Heather Dillon serves as an ambassador for JAX research and educational programs and assists the laboratory with attracting the best talent.  With over a decade of experience in recruitment and advising, Heather has assisted hundreds of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with their academic job searches and application materials.

Founded in 1929, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution working at the cutting-edge of genetics and genomics to improve human health.  With over 2,000 employees supporting this mission across our two academic research campuses in Bar Harbor, Maine, and Farmington, Connecticut and an additional support facility in Sacramento, California, The Jackson Laboratory is finding new ways to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, with the ultimate goal of developing therapeutics and cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other ailments.  In addition to academic postdoctoral training and tenure track faculty positions, JAX offers career opportunities in client-based research, sales, marketing, customer service, education and outreach among others. Join our team and contribute to our important mission of discovering precise genomic solutions for disease and empowering the global biomedical community in our shared quest to improve human health. To learn more, visit jax.org/careers.

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Thurs Apr 12, 2-3:30 pm

WHAT: Choosing a Postdoc Position: What to Know Before You Go
WHERE: Bryan Research Building, Room 103
REGISTERMore info/registration (Postdocs may attend this event without registering)

Do you have a postdoctoral position lined up for after you graduate? Or are you wondering if doing a postdoc would be worthwhile for your career? In this panel, current postdocs will share their experiences while applying for postdocs, what to look for in a mentor, and how to prepare for the job market afterwards.


  • Jasmin Carmona, PhD, MS, LMFT, Postdoctoral Associate, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
  • William Huhn, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & The Duke University Energy Initiative
  • Daniela Jones, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, BioCoRE Program
  • Samantha Snow, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, US Environmental Protection Agency

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Thurs Apr 19, 10-11:30 am

WHAT: “You’re Hired – Now What? Starting Your New Academic Position Right” with Dr Mohamed Noor
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2018Hired

Are you a postdoc or graduate student planning to pursue a faculty career? Then please join us for a talk with one of Duke’s favorite professors and mentors, Dr. Mohamed Noor, Professor of Biology and author of the book You’re Hired! Now What? A Guide for New Science Faculty. New college faculty are well-versed in the scientific skills they’ll need for success in research, including design of projects, preparation of manuscripts and grant proposals, and interactions during peer review. Yet typically they receive no training in organization, management, or even basic college structure. In response to this need, Dr Noor will present his thoughts and advice for a successful faculty career. Dr Noor will be joined by fellow Duke faculty members Dr Jennifer Roizen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and Dr Allison Ashley-Koch, Professor of Medical Genetics, for an informal discussion of the issues faced by new faculty.


Mohamed Noor, PhD, is Professor and former Chair of Biology at Duke University. Having earned his PhD (Ecology and Evolution) in 1996 from the University of Chicago, he did postdoctoral work at Cornell. He joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University in 1998 as an Assistant Professor and held an adjunct appointment in Women’s and Gender Studies. In 2005, he joined the faculty at Duke. Supported from the outset of his career with continuous NSF and/or NIH funding, his research in evolutionary genetics focuses on the formation of new species and molecular evolution. Dr. Noor has received numerous research-related awards, including the prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London. He is currently Editor-In-Chief of the journal Evolution, and has served in an editorial capacity for nine different journals. Dr. Noor is a tireless advocate and mentor for his students and lab members. In 2010, he received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Having negotiated his own balance between personal life (he is married with two school-age children) and the myriad responsibilities of a faculty position, he offers in his reader-friendly handbook invaluable experience and insights for new faculty.

Allison Ashley-Koch, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. She received her PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University. Dr. Ashley-Koch is a genetic epidemiologist whose primary goal is the genetic dissection of human disorders, including evaluation of epistatic, epigenetic and gene*environment interactions. She primarily works on neuopsychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidality, schizophrenia, essential tremor, and neural tube defects. However, identification of genetic modifiers for sickle cell disease is another primary research area.  Dr. Ashley-Koch’s lab uses several next generation sequencing technologies to identify genetic and genomic variants that contribute to disease and also uses in vivo and in vitro modeling of those variants to better understand disease mechanisms. Dr. Ashley-Koch is passionate about educating the next generation of scientists having served in several educational roles in the medical school.  She has participated in several NIH and foundation grant review committees and has served on the program committee for the American Society of Human Genetics.

Jennifer Roizen, PhD, graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Chemistry and earned her doctorate in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. She was awarded a Kirschstein-NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University, and joined the Duke Department of Chemistry in 2013. Inspired by small molecule natural products, the Roizen lab research focuses on access to improved antibiotics and selective ion channel inhibitors, with implications for the study and treatment of cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders. Access to these small molecules enables the Roizen group to collaborate with colleagues to probe the biological activity of these molecular architectures.

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars

Thurs Feb 8, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Doctors without (Departmental) Borders: Professional Pathways in Academic Affairs
WHERE: Carpenter Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (rm 249)
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1SNfkae20pIx14h

You don’t need a full-time faculty position to support the academic mission of an institution. Join us for a lively conversation with four PhD’s in the humanities/social sciences who play key roles in fostering academic and intellectual work at Duke. Learn how you can put your creativity to work in higher ed administration (all without grading papers).


  • Liz Milewicz (PhD, Cultural Anthropology), Head, Digital Scholarship Services, Duke Library
  • Amber Diaz Pearson (PhD, Political Science), Research Scholar, Kenan Institute for Ethics
  • Sarah Russell (PhD, American History), Assistant Dean of Trinity College
  • Jesse Summers (PhD, Philosophy), Assistant Academic Dean, Trinity College

Tues Feb 27, 3-4:30 pm  Canceled due to low registration

WHAT: University Development: What It Is and Why You Should Know About It (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Social Sciences and Humanities)
WHERE: Carpenter Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (rm 249)
Who’s locating the resources for faculty members to do their best research and teaching? Where do many endowed professorships and student fellowships come from? What about that gorgeous library renovation? If you are planning to spend your career as a faculty member, it’s a good idea to learn how university development can help support your success.  If you are considering a nonfaculty job in higher education, take a look at this growing field – especially if you enjoy strategy, relationship-building, and promoting causes you care about.


  • Mike Byerley (MDiv), Director of Development, Duke Graduate School
  • Bryan Giemza (JD, PhD, English Language and Literature), Director of the Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Suzanne Shanahan (PhD, Sociology), Director, Kenan Institute for Ethics and Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Carol Vorhaus (MBA), Associate Director, Duke Foundation Relations

Thurs Mar 1, 3-4:30 pm  Canceled due to low registration

WHAT: Careers in Communications, Outreach, and Building Community (for Postdocs and Graduate Students in the Social Sciences and Humanities)
WHERE: Breedlove Conference Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (rm 349)

Many positions in academia can leverage the writing, teaching, and speaking skills developed in humanities and social sciences graduate programs. Our panelists exemplify the diversity of career opportunities that leverage communication and relationship-building skills, and they will share their day-to-day experiences as well as insights on how to successfully transition into these careers.


  • Mark Dudley (PhD, Political Science), Senior Admissions Officer
  • Sarah Dwyer (MA, International Studies), Director of Communications, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Nicole Kempton (MPhil, Comparative Literature), Senior Director, Graduate & Professional School Alumni Affairs
  • Joseph McNicholas (MBA, PhD, American Literature), Director of Research Opportunities, Franklin Humanities Institute

Tues Mar 6, 3-4:30 pm Canceled due to low registration

WHAT: Careers in Student Affairs for the Humanities and Social Sciences
WHERE: Perkins Library 218

One of the things that drew you to graduate school was the opportunity to teach and work closely with students. Careers in Student Affairs can offer you the chance to extend your teaching and mentoring skills with students. Panelists will share their career paths, typical work duties, and transition advice.


  • Li-Chen Chin (PhD, Music Education), Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Programs
  • Alan Kendrick (PhD, Government), Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development
  • Danielle Oakley (PhD, Counseling Psychology), Director, CAPS
  • Stephanie Helms Pickett (EdD, Higher Education Administration), Director, Women’s Center

Thurs Mar 22, 3-4:30 pm

WHAT: Faculty Careers Beyond the Tenure Track
WHERE: Perkins Library 218
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dd3hi4wl0EitMtD

Are you looking for a way to maintain your involvement in research, teaching, or service in an academic institution, but not sure you want the same kind of career as tenured or tenure-track faculty in your discipline? Our panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges of faculty positions beyond the tenure-track in the social sciences and humanities.


  • Denise Comer (PhD, English), Associate Professor of the Practice, Thompson Writing Program, Duke University
  • Patrick Harrison (PhD, Psychology), Teaching Assistant Professor and Director of Instructional Development, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Claire Scott (PhD, German Studies), Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, UNC-Chapel Hill

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Seminars for All Postdocs and Graduate Students

Tues Jan 30, 12-1 pm

WHAT: What Is A Provost? And Other Questions about Working in Academia that You Were Afraid to Ask
WHERE: Carpenter Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (rm 249)
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3t52Ai12MXJMtOB

Whether you’re interviewing for faculty positions or considering a career in academic administration, understanding institutional structure and the roles within it is critical to your success. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between academic affairs and student affairs or contemplated the distinction between department chairs and department heads, then join us for this presentation and conversation. Lunch provided; please bring a beverage to enjoy.

Speaker: Molly Goldwasser is the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. In this position, Goldwasser partners with colleagues across the University to augment academic and programmatic assessment and to assist with SACS accreditation and compliance. Goldwasser earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi and a Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. Most of her work, research and education background centers around issues of access to and equity in education.

Thurs Feb 1, 10-11:30 am

WHAT: CV Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdocs
WHERE: Brodhead Center – 068 Multipurpose Room

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a 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. In this workshop, you will learn how to craft compelling CVs that emphasize how your specific skills and experiences will fit academic and non-academic institutions.

Tues Feb 27, 9:30-11:30 am

WHAT: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/events/rcr-forum-managing-your-research-career-using-individual-development-plan-idp-0

For better or for worse, your experiences and the training you receive as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers can greatly impact and shape the rest of your career.  However, there are strategies and resources that can enhance your chances of getting what you came for. During this program participants will learn how to develop clear and specific goals and objectives, along with a plan for executing them. Topics covered include:

  • The importance of setting goals and developing an IDP
  • Introduction to the SMART goals model
  • Resources for crafting and executing your IDP
  • Strategies for establishing expectations and effectively communicating research and career goals with your mentor/PI

Speaker: Dara Wilson-Grant, LPC is the Associate Director at the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and a National Certified Career Counselor. With over fifteen years experience providing career management education and counseling, Dara’s mission is to help individuals develop a framework for choosing a meaningful and rewarding career path, plus develop the skills necessary for a lifetime of career success.

NOTE: This Forum provides Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) credit. Duke postdocs are required to take yearly RCR training as outlined at http://ors.duke.edu/orsmanual/rcr-postdoctoral-researchers. If you are a Postdoctoral Associate or Postdoctoral Scholar and have attended either the day-long Postdoctoral RCR Forum or the 5-part Trent Center RCR Course, you are thereafter required to attend one RCR Forum (such as this one) every subsequent year of your postdoctoral training.

Mon Mar 5, 9-10 am Postponed due to low registration. Look for this event in Fall 2018.

WHAT: Careers in Assessment and Evaluation
WHERE: Carpenter Reading Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (rm 249)
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_07gdtNQUJCqgZ8x

Jessica Sperling, PhD, is Lead, Evaluation & Engagement for the Duke Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). Jessica will discuss her path to a career in evaluation – an area of work that utilizes PhD conceptual and empirical training in applied settings. She will also discuss how interested postdocs could gain experience in evaluation through SSRI.

Speaker: Jessica Sperling is Lead, Evaluation & Engagement for the Duke Social Science Research Institute. She is dedicated to developing community-engaged and applied research, improving programs through responsive and collaborative evaluation, as well as developing educational programming with hands-on learning opportunities. Prior to joining SSRI, she was a Research Analyst in the CUNY Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support and  also managed the research and evaluation program for StoryCorps, where she developed an overall framework for evaluation, as well as specific data collection and analysis projects. She holds a PhD in sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she focused on immigration, race/ethnicity, and inequality and was funded by the NSF, the Social Science Research Council, and Zeit Stiftung/Bucerius.

Tues Mar 6, 9:30-11 am

WHAT: Careers in University Research Administration
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2018Admin

Research is the lifeblood of a university like Duke. University research administration is a broad field encompassing research compliance, research support, proposal development, grant administration – in short, any area that ‘touches’ research. This panel will provide a wealth of information about an academic career path you may not have considered. The first hour will be Q&A, followed by networking with the panelists.


  • JL Ariansen, Scientific Integrity Associate, Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services and Training (ASIST) Office
  • Christopher Freel, Associate Vice Provost for Research (former Duke postdoc)
  • Keith Hurka-Owen, Director, Office of Research Support
  • Jeni Reininga-Craven, Associate Director, Duke Office of Research Development (former Duke postdoc)

Watch on the Duke Postdoctoral Services YouTube Channel

Thurs Mar 29, 1:30-3 pm

WHAT: CV Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdocs
WHERE: Brodhead Center – 068 Multipurpose Room

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a 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. In this workshop, you will learn how to craft compelling CVs that emphasize how your specific skills and experiences will fit academic and non-academic institutions.

Mon Apr 2, 12-1:30 pm

WHAT: Developing an Online Presence with Portfolios
WHERE: Rm 217 Perkins Library
REGISTER: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/events/developing-online-presence-portfolios

An electronic web-based professional portfolio is far more practical, portable and more easily kept current than a paper binder for graduate students to be visible to potential employers (such as faculty search committees). In this hands-on session, Dr. Hugh Crumley will explore the elements of an online portfolio that can include embedded video, links to your teaching materials and consistent navigation that will help search committees review your position applications. You will also look into acquiring your own domain name to professionally brand yourself and prepare to enter a job search. Bring your laptop. Lunch provided.

Thurs Apr 5, 9:30-11 am  Canceled due to low registration

WHAT: International Faculty: Searching for an Academic Position Outside of Your Home Country
WHERE: Rm 103 Bryan Research Bldg

Are you planning on searching for a research, academic, or postdoc position in the United States? Do you have questions about obtaining a J-1 Visa, H1-B Visa, or O-1 Visa? How have Duke faculty members successfully landed positions working at an R1 institution in the US? Panelists will address these issues and questions from the audience.


  • Negar Mottahedeh, PhD, Associate Professor of Literature
  • Surya Tokdar, PhD, Associate Professor of Statistical Science

Mon Apr 9, 10-11:30 am

WHAT: Managing a Dual-Sector Career Search for Graduate Students and Postdocs
WHERE: Brodhead Center, Rm 067
REGISTERMore info/registration (Postdocs may attend this event without registering)

If you’re planning to pursue different sectors of employment at the same time, such as academia and business, then join us for this interactive workshop where you’ll learn effective strategies to manage the overall process. We’ll also discuss how to market yourself successfully for each of the different sectors including how to communicate your relevant skills to different types of employers.