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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Finding An Academic Position

So, one of the sessions that I attended today was entitled "Your Academic Job: Strategies for Graduate Students" and was delivered by Diana L. Gustafson of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.
Here are some of my notes from the session:

  • deciding on the academy: what does the average day look like?
    • typical official Canadian breakdown - 40% teaching / 40% research / 20% service
    • realistically teaching takes up 80% of your day
    • but research productivity is biggest factor in promotion and tenure decisions
  • where to find a good Canadian job
    • Canadian Association of University Teachers - http://www.caut.com
    • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, University Affairs - http://www.aucc.ca
    • individual university department websites
    • professional associations, such as CSSE website
    • personal contacts
  • creating an application package
    • the cover letter
    • the curriculum vitae
    • letters of recommendation
    • transcripts
    • writing samples
    • teaching philosophy
    • research agenda
    • teaching syllabus
    • teaching evaluation
  • regardless of what the the job ad says, include more items to provide a richer picture of yourself
  • personalize your cover letter based upon the job ad
  • use the actual language of the job ad
  • Resource - Writing a Curriculum Vitae, University Career Services, University of Virginia (http://www.career.virigina.edu)
  • writing samples -> book reviews and short journal research notes
  • make your application stand out
    • know what they are looking for
    • use the job ad
    • be familiar with the university
    • know the department goals
    • be aware of recent issues
    • know the faculty composition
    • understand where this job fits
  • waiting time activities
    • research the university
    • learn about the faculty
    • read faculty publications
    • practice interview skills
    • prepare research and teaching talks
    • be ready for a call
    • keep a spreadsheet of activities
    • keep looking
Tags: CSSE, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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