Spring and Summer 2020

The 2019-20 Academic Job Search Series is co-sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Services, The Graduate School, and the Career Center.

Thurs Jan 23, 12-1 pm 

WHAT:  Careers in Academic Administration
WHERE:  Carpenter Conference Room, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
REGISTER: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/events/careers-academic-administration

You like working in academia, but you want to explore options for careers beyond tenure-track and teaching-focused positions. This overview will introduce you to major categories of employment opportunities in academic administration and help you get started in exploring the options of greatest interest.

Speaker: Melissa Bostrom, PhD, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development

Tues Jan 28,  9:30-10:30 am 

WHAT: Leaving the Ivory Tower: Managing the Emotional Side of Career Change
WHERE: Room 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020Ivory

A large part of how we define ourselves and how others define us is based on what we do for a living – our professional identity. But what happens when we are no longer a [fill in the blank]? How do we deal with the loss of self, the loss of professional status, the loss of affiliation with an elite group that we’ve been aligned with as long as we can remember?

The overall loss of identity that we feel when we decide to leave academia is comparable to healing after the loss of a loved one or after the breakup of a long-term, and possibly dysfunctional, relationship. Letting go can be difficult, but we have to let go and give ourselves permission to grieve before reaching a point where we are ready to commit to making a career change.

In this informative session, participants will learn about the emotional obstacles that can keep us stuck in an academic career path that is no longer fulfilling. Participants will also learn how former postdocs and graduate students found the courage to follow a more rewarding career path.

Dara Wilson-Grant, Associate Director of the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, will discuss:

  • Strategies for letting go and moving on to form, and eventually embrace, a new professional identity.
  • Resources that can help you navigate through the transition phase and into a more rewarding career.

Thurs Feb 6 and Fri Feb 7 

WHAT: Careers in Teaching at Private High Schools
WHERE: Location varies; see agenda below
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_55YYiIf2fvT9QoZ

Leading independent high schools can offer PhD graduates a wide range of exciting teaching and administrative opportunities, including robust support for faculty research, strong compensation, and significant benefits for faculty and their families. This event gathers 3 of the nation’s leading independent schools representing different geographic locations and institutional models: The Greenwich Country Day School (CT), Marin Academy (CA), and the Hotchkiss School (CT).


Thurs Feb 6: Panel Discussion & Breakout Sessions

  • 8:45-9 am: Breakfast and Registration, Rm 143 Jones Bldg (ground floor auditorium)
  • 9-10 am: Panel Discussion: Career Opportunities in Independent Education
  • 10:30-10:45 am: Break
  • 10:45-12 pm: Breakout Session
    – Deciding Between Boarding and Day Schools (Jones 117)
    – Beyond the Classroom: The Culture of Private Schools (MSRB 001)
    – Research, Publishing, & Professional Development Opportunities (Jones 143)

Fri Feb 7: Interview Day (9 am-4 pm, 30-minute interviews)

Interviews will be held by all 3 schools at the Duke Career Center. If you are interested in an informational interview or applying to a position, email your resume and any supporting materials (not required) to ghmrecruiting20@gmail.com, and a school representative will respond to schedule a 30 minute meeting.

Weds Feb 12,  12-1:30 pm 

WHAT: Honing Your Versatility as a Future Faculty Member (for Humanities and Interpretive Social Sciences)
WHERE: Upper East Side (East Student Union, East Campus)
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_51M3opaFutvaMpn

Higher education is far from monolithic, yet it’s a challenge for many doctoral students to get a full understanding of what faculty roles and teaching duties entail at different colleges and universities. In this lively lunchtime conversation, six visiting faculty—all 2019-2020 Fellows through Duke’s Mellon Humanities Unbounded grant—share an insider view of faculty life at institutions beyond the R1 university. What are the joys and challenges of these roles? What might doctoral students expect in different educational settings, and how can they best prepare to teach in a rapidly changing higher ed landscape?


  • Garry Bertholf, Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Wesleyan University
  • Collie Fulford, Associate Professor of English Composition and Rhetoric, North Carolina Central University
  • Craig Quintero, Associate Professor of Theater and Dance, Grinnell College
  • Eva Michelle Wheeler, Associate Professor of Spanish, Oakwood University
  • Lisa Blair, Instructor of French and Spanish, Durham Technical Community College (with Patricia Bass, Duke doctoral student)
  • Marina DelVecchio, Instructor of English and Women’s Studies, Durham Technical Community College (with Maggie McDowell, Duke doctoral student)

Tues Feb 25, 9:30-11 am

WHAT: Managing Your Research Career Using an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg
REGISTER: https://tinyurl.com/Spring2020RCRIDP

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 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 seminar provides Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) credit. Duke postdoctoral appointees are required to have yearly RCR training, as outlined at http://ors.duke.edu/orsmanual/rcr-postdoctoral-researchers.

Fri Feb 28, 10-11 am 

WHAT: STEM Faculty Careers Beyond R1 Institutions *On Line Zoom Session*
REGISTER: Graduate students register at Career Connections; Postdocs register at https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_efZ0q9QB0p5pkzz

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, STEM faculty from various types of institutions beyond R1 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.


  • Jason Andrus, PhD (Microbiology), Professor of Biological Sciences, Meredith College
  • Meghan Blackledge, PhD (’11 Chemistry), Assistant Professor of Chemistry at High Point University
  • Lauren Lowman, PhD (’18 CEE, ’10 BA Public Policy), Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University

Watch on the Duke Careers YouTube Channel

Sat Feb 29, 11-12 pm 

WHAT: Graduate Student Conversation with Alumnus Julius S. Scott (PhD History)
WHERE: Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center
REGISTER: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3KUiOOxB2PFAjqZ

The Graduate School and the Forum for Scholars and Publics are hosting a conversation for graduate students and postdocs with alumnus Julius S. Scott (PhD ’86 History).  Coffee and snacks will be served, followed by lunch at noon and a 1 pm symposium to honor Scott’s work.

As a doctoral student in the History Department at Duke University in the 1980s, Scott wrote a dissertation called “The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of Revolution,” which reshaped the field through its study of the circulation of ideas and information in the Greater Caribbean and beyond during the era of the Haitian Revolution. As a faculty member in the department from 1988 to 1994, he worked with a remarkable cohort of graduate students who have in turn expanded and transformed the field of Atlantic history. Scott’s dissertation became a highly regarded work that was widely shared among historians, and it was published for the first time in 2018.

The conversation is part of several weekend events in honor of Scott. Saturday’s symposium will feature eight Duke history PhD alumni discussing the influence of Scott’s work. On Sun Mar 1, the Regulator Bookshop will host a book-signing at 1:30 pm featuring Scott and fellow Duke PhD alumnus Vincent Brown.

Mon Mar 2, 2:30-3:30 pm 

WHAT: From Europe to the US and Back Again: Strategies for a Mobile, Multi-Lingual Academic Career
WHERE: Allen 226

This workshop will offer strategies for taking a career in the humanities across national and linguistic bounds. The focus of this event will be how to develop a professional profile that allows PhD students to make their research and teaching skills relevant in international settings.Dr. José María Rodríguez García, Associate Professor of Romance Studies, will guide the conversation.This is the first in a series of events on Navigating International Career Paths.

Speaker: Kostis Kornetis, PhD, Teaching Associate in Modern European History at the University Sheffield, UK. Dr. Kornetis studied history in Munich, London and Florence. He has taught European history at Brown University and New York University, and was Conex-Marie Curie Experienced Fellow at the Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, and Santander Fellow in Iberian Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford.

Weds Mar 18, 10-11:30 am 

WHAT: Webinar: Non-Faculty Positions in Higher Education (Humanities and Social Sciences)
REGISTER: Graduate students register at Career Connections; postdocs register at https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_es1B4rUnaVgZrLv

Would you like to stay in higher education but aren’t interested in faculty positions? During this panel discussion, you will have the opportunity to hear from panelists with PhDs in Humanities and Social Sciences who have found fulfilling careers in higher education. They will discuss their paths, how to locate job opportunities, and how to apply for these types of jobs.


Watch on the Duke Careers YouTube Channel

WHAT: Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Careers in the Sciences and Engineering
WHERE: Rm 143 Jones Bldg (https://map.concept3d.com?id=21&mrkIid=39413#!m/39413)

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
  • Jory Wientraub, PhD, Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Weds Mar 25, 4-5:30 pm 

WHAT: Webinar: Seeking Tenure While Latina: Experiences of Latina Faculty at Research 1 Institutions
WHERE: Group viewing at Center for Multicultural Affairs conference room (Bryan Center, ground floor)

Struggles related to involvement, unwritten expectations and cultural taxation (Padilla, 1994), play a role in the underrepresentation of Latinas in tenured positions. This presentation will unpack the experience of Latina faculty seeking tenure at R1 institutions. The presenter will discuss reported experiences, emergent themes related to involvement and engagement, and practical implications for faculty of color, especially Latinas, as they navigate the tenure process. This presentation should particularly benefit underrepresented faculty members seeking tenure or seeking a career in academia. Additionally, findings from the study can be informative for underrepresented students, faculty, and staff as they provide insights into institutional dynamics and challenges that many underrepresented groups face, particularly in Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs).

Participants will:

  • Analyze factors that contribute to high attrition in the number of underrepresented faculty members seeking tenure at Research 1 institutions.
  • Discuss current institutional climate and systemic challenges that perpetuate the current underrepresentation of POC in the professoriate.
  • Identify strategies that can improve the minority faculty experience as they seek tenure.

Speaker: Julie Henriquez Aldana serves as an Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Leadership and Director of Student Leadership and Engagement for the Newcomb Institute at Tulane University.  She earned a BS in International Trade and Finance (2003), MS in Human Resource Education (2005), and a PhD in Human Resource Education with a concentration in Human Resource and Leadership Development (2017) from Louisiana State University.

Thurs Apr 9, 2-3:30 pm 

WHAT: National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity Webinar: Mastering Academic Time Management: Transitioning to a Faculty Role

New faculty members commonly describe:

  • Working long hours but making little progress on their research and writing.
  • A sense of loneliness that stems from limited mentoring and community.
  • Feeling unsupported in their desire for work-family balance and without the skills to achieve it.

Wondering whether the academic path is the right career choice.This webinar is specifically designed to address these issues and provide participants with concrete skills to successfully transition from graduate student/postdoc to professor. Specifically, participants will learn:

  • The three biggest mistakes that new faculty make in managing their time
  • Why and how to align work time with institutional and personal priorities
  • How to create time for academic writing and research
  • How to organize a network of support and accountability for writing productivity and balance

Duke graduate students and postdocs are invited to activate a free membership to the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). Benefits include webinars, multi-week courses, a discussion forum, a resource library, a career center, and more. Visit http://www.facultydiversity.org/ and register as an Institutional Sub-account Member. You must use your Duke email address for registration.

Thurs July 9, 10:30 am – 12 pm 

WHAT: Academic Job Market Materials Bootcamp: CVs
WHEN: Thurs July 9, 10:30 am – 12 pm
REGISTER: Graduate students register in CareerConnections; postdocs register at  https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4G7P6jME2KN0qnr

Will you be on the job market this year? Summer is a great time to start preparing your materials and get feedback on drafts. Even if you haven’t started working on your CV, we’ll cover the basics of structure and formatting in the first half of the session. In the (optional) second half, you’ll have the opportunity to work on your own CV and ask questions to a career adviser.This session is for graduate students and postdocs, regardless of year.

Thurs July 9, 4-5 pm 

WHAT: Managing the Job Search as a Couple
WHEN: Thurs July 9, 4-5 pm
ZOOM: https://duke.zoom.us/j/95323751450

Planning for one person’s career is tough, planning for two simultaneously is even harder. In this workshop, we will discuss how to establish professional priorities, how to have productive conversations with your partner, and what additional resources you can use to manage the dual job search process.

Please note this event will be recorded for future use. By registering for this event you are agreeing to allow Duke to record your participation.

Thurs July 16, 10:30 am – 12 pm 

WHAT: Academic Job Market Materials Bootcamp: Cover Letters
Graduate students register in CareerConnections; postdocs register at  https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8jl2yYD99OiGl13

Will you be on the job market this year? Summer is a great time to start preparing your materials and get feedback on drafts. Even if you haven’t written a cover letter before, in the first half of this session we’ll discuss the basics of structure and formatting and how to tailor the letter for different institutions. In the (optional) second half, you’ll have the opportunity to work on, edit, and ask questions about your cover letter. This session is for graduate students and postdocs, regardless of year.

Thurs July 23, 10:30 am – 12 pm 

WHAT: Academic Job Market Materials Bootcamp: Research, Teaching, and Diversity Statements
REGISTER: Graduate students register in CareerConnections; postdocs register at  https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Q9ePktxLLbxQoZ

Will you be on the job market this year? Summer is a great time to start preparing your materials and to get feedback on drafts. In the first half of this session, we’ll discuss the purpose, structure, and formatting of research, teaching, and diversity statements. In the (optional) second half, you’ll have the opportunity to work on your documents and ask questions.This session is for graduate students and postdocs, regardless of year.