- What do I want and need from my job?
- Do I need to be working at a top-rated institution, or would a less intense environment be acceptable or preferable?
- Do I want to devote myself exclusively to research, or would I prefer some combination of research, teaching, and clinical practice?
- Do I want or need to be in a particular area of the country?
- Will my personal responsibilities or my spouse’s professional needs set limits to my search?
Learning what is out there:
- Job announcement letters sent to your department and program director
- Announcements (print and online) in major scientific journals (e.g., Cell, Science, Nature) and in publications devoted to hematology (e.g., Blood)
- Web sites of academic institutions
- Employment bulletins and the ASH Job Bank
- Informal sources (e.g., supervisors, scientists, collaborators, former fellows)
Narrow your search by finding out about:
- The institution’s mission, values, political and social climate, and quality (e.g., national and regional ranking)
- Department research activity, curriculum, and collegiate atmosphere
- Parameters and expectations of the position (i.e., whether it is a tenure track)
The job application:
- First impressions are important. Follow the application instructions and make sure your application is concise and free of factual, grammatical, and spelling errors.
- Prepare a cover letter
- Brief self-introduction
- Specify the position for which you are applying
- Statement about your research accomplishments
- Brief description of your research plans
- Brief description of your clinical and teaching experience
- Any special circumstances you believe the committee should know about up front (e.g., your spouse is also a scientist looking for a faculty position)
- Update your curriculum vitae (and have someone review it)
- Write a research proposal
- A statement about the problem you intend to work on, indicating the key unanswered questions you will tackle
- A description of your research plans (include a few figures to help make your proposal more interesting to the search committee)
- A detailed description of your postdoctoral research (describe your predoctoral graduate research only if it is critical to your current interests)
- A list of references that includes your publications and manuscripts submitted or in press, as well as pertinent publications by others
- Obtain letters of recommendations (ensure that you choose the right people – not only “influential” people, but people who genuinely know you)
- The interview
- Organize the logistics of the trip (e.g., plane tickets and hotel accommodations)
- Find out about the academic interests of the people you are likely to meet by reviewing their papers
- Learn as much as possible about the institution and the surrounding area
- Prepare a talk describing your research activities. Be prepared to deliver your talk comfortably within 50 minutes.
- Deliver your talk
- Greet your audience and tell them you are glad to be with them
- Make eye contact with those who are listening closely
- Demonstrate confidence by using “I” wherever it seems appropriate to do so
- Meet with other faculty members, students, postdocs, and trainees
- Conclude your visit and follow-up
- Ask when a decision will be reached
- As soon as you return home, write a formal letter addressed to the chair of the committee, thanking everyone for their hospitality, and reiterating your interest in the position
Negotiate your position:
- Obtain the details of the appointment (e.g., job title, length of the initial contract, terms under which the contract will be renewed)
- The salary (is your salary paid by the institution or derived from your research grant?)
- Other forms of compensation (e.g., health coverage, life insurance, moving expenses, housing subsidy)
- Start-up package (e.g., lab space, equipment, computer, technician, other support staff)
- Teaching responsibilities
- Protected research time
- Protect yourself by formalizing all of the accepted details of the negotiations in a written contract. Strongly consider reviewing the contract with an experienced advisor or attorney before accepting an offer.
Apply for transitional grants (e.g., K01, K02, K08, R03, R15, R21, K22, K23)
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