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Graduate Peers Hours

Spring 2014

Academic Peer:
Torrey Trust

Mon: 1 to 4 p.m.
Tues: 1 to 4 p.m.
Wed: noon to 3 p.m. 

Diversity & Outreach Peer:
Hala Sun


Funding Peer:
Kyle Crocco


Writing Peer:
Ryan Dippre

Tues: 10 to 11 a.m. &
2 to 6 p.m.
Wed: 9 to 11 a.m.
Thurs: 10 to 11 a.m. 
Fri: 9 to 11 a.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.



Campus Map


View UCSB Graduate Student Resources in a larger map


The Academic Job Search Survival Handbook

Academic Job Search Survival Handbook screenshotUC San Diego Career Services put together a comprehensive handbook to help guide you through the academic job search process. The Academic Job Search Survival Handbook includes the following:

  • Timeline for hiring new faculty
  • When and where to look for jobs
  • CV and cover letter examples and tips
  • Common campus interview questions

Whether you are applying to academic jobs right now or have plans to do so in the near future, browse through the handbook to prepare yourself for the job search process.


Keep Your Career Options Open

Some of us go to grad school knowing exactly what we want to do once we have that degree in our possession while others may change their minds somewhere along the journey to the degree. Yet some know what they want to research but maybe have not put too much thought beyond that. I know I've deviated from my initial career thoughts back during my first year of grad school here. The article linked to below discusses a recent California-based study that investigated what Ph.D. students wanted out of their careers.

A couple of interesting findings:

* "The majority of people surveyed — 74 percent of men and 84 percent of women — were concerned about whether their future career path would be a family-friendly one."

* "Forty-five percent of men and 39 percent of the women surveyed intended to become professors at a research institution when they started their doctoral program. However, once into their programs, the numbers dropped to 36 percent and 27 percent, respectively."

Grad Students Think Twice about Jobs in Academe


Note: Articles from The Chronicle can be accessed for free if you have an account with the site; aside from creating an account, these articles can be accessed on campus computers and via UCSB's wireless network.


Finding Academic Job Postings

The academic job search can be tough and the last thing you want to do is sell yourself short by not finding all of the potential jobs that may be a good fit for you. Unfortunately, there isn't a be-all end-all list of academic job opportunities so it's best to cast a wide net and make sure you are covering all of your bases. Here are some great resources for finding academic job postings:

  • Discipline-specific listservs and webpages: Many professional organizations and societies have listservs where job ads circulate. This can be a great way to make sure you are seeing jobs specific to your discipline. If you aren't sure what listservs may be relevant, ask your faculty advisor about any listservs that circulate job ads. Some organizations also have their own job posting boards or search tools on their websites so make sure to check out the sites of professional organizations relevant to your field.
  • Chronicle of Higher Education: The Chronicle has job posting boards organized by discipline and date of post.
  • HigherEd Jobs: Higher Ed Jobs allows you to search for academic jobs by discipline, area of the country, and type of institution. In addition, you can create an account that will allow you to receive job alerts via email.
  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium: The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) was designed to help dual-career couples find academic employment in the same region. However, the search tools provided by HERC (and the regional HERCs) are useful for anyone targeting specific areas of the country when looking for employment. This website also allows you to receive email alerts with job postings that are relevant to you.
  • Academic Keys: Academic Keys offers a job search engine that allows you to search by discipline, type of job, location, or institution. In addition, you can receive job alerts via email, social media, or RSS feed.
  • Academic Jobs Wiki:  Aside from the variety of academic-job related resources, this wiki also includes discipline-specific pages featuring a list of job opportunities for the current academic year. Many of them are also updated regularly as individuals find out about phone interviews, campus visits, etc., making this a tool that is both loved and loathed by job seekers (it's great to know what opportunities exist but it may be a bit depressing to see all of the jobs you AREN'T being contacted about). But, try to stay positive. You don't need to hear back from everyone — after all, you can only accept one position!
  • Institutional Job Postings: Many universities post job openings through a Human Resources webpage (and sometimes on a department webpage). So, if there is a school you know you would like to work at, check out their Human Resources job postings as well as the website of the department you would like to work for to make sure there aren't any open opportunities that you may have missed. If you are doing a dual-career search, this can also be a great way to see if a university you are interested in also has opportunities for your partner.

As you are reviewing job ads, consider making a spreadsheet to keep opportunities organized and stay on top on deadlines. Happy hunting!


Writing Your Teaching Philosophy Statement: Tips from Kim DeBacco, Ph.D. 

Having a strong teaching philosophy statement that highlights your teaching values and principles is a key component of your application for faculty positions.

UCSB Instructional Development logoI was recently asked to submit my teaching philosophy statement for a Preparing Future Faculty application and I did not know where to start. Luckily, Instructional Development still had space available in the “Developing Your Teaching Philosophy Statement” workshop on November 2. The workshop was hosted by Kim DeBacco, Ph.D., an Instructional Consultant with the office of Instructional Development. I took a few notes to share with you in order to help you revise and improve your teaching philosophy statement.

First, start writing your teaching philosophy statement right now (hint: this might be a good winter break project). Even though your teaching philosophy may change, it is helpful to have a foundation that you can build on as you reflect on your teaching style so that by the time you are ready to apply to faculty positions you will have a much stronger statement.

Your teaching philosophy statement should be unique, authentic, and true to you. While there are many examples available on the Internet and guidelines for how to construct the perfect teaching philosophy statement, use your own judgment to determine the best way to represent your teaching values and practice. Reflect on what strategies work for you as a teaching assistant and what you have experienced as a student that really stood out as good teaching.

When you start your statement, find a compelling way to hook the reader’s attention – this might be a quote from an expert, a quote from one of your students, or a short story about a learning experience. If you can, find a way to wrap up your statement by returning to the quote or anecdote in the concluding paragraph.

Teaching Philosophy statementImage from kleins@uwstout.eduYour statement should reflect your teaching principles. Teaching principles are theories and strategies that guide your practice. Some example principles are: resilience, timeliness, active learning, and professionalism. Use examples to show how you embody those teaching principles. For example, if your teaching principle is to create an active learning environment, then describe how you engage students in active learning through discussions, debates, problem-solving exercises, group projects or other activities. (Note: If you do use a buzzword like “active learning,” “community-centered learning,” or “project-based learning” in your statement, make sure you understand what that term means in relation to your field of study.)

In addition to your teaching principles, it is important to include your thoughts on what it means to learn, how you evaluate learning, and how you assess your own teaching strategies. For evaluation and assessment, think beyond tests and ESCI scores. Students can demonstrate learning through projects and portfolios, you can conduct ongoing formative assessments, or you can do a check-in/check-out index card at the beginning and end of each class.

When you conclude your teaching philosophy statement, include your goals for improving your teaching and how you plan to achieve those goals. If you are applying for a faculty position, research the teaching policies or philosophy at the university where you are applying and see if you can align your goals with the university’s goals.

When the workshop concluded, Kim DeBacco offered to look over our teaching philosophy statement drafts. I followed up directly after the workshop by sending Kim my statement and she replied with very helpful comments about moving away from a conversational style and playing with the verb tenses to make the statement more powerful. Between the workshop and the personalized feedback, I feel much more confident in sharing my teaching philosophy statement when I apply to faculty positions in the future.

Instructional Development offers many workshops every quarter. I highly recommend attending the teaching philosophy statement workshop as well as the other workshops to learn how you can improve your teaching pedagogy and be better prepared for a faculty position.

When you are ready, Instructional Consultants Kim DeBacco and Lisa Berry are happy to read and offer feedback on your Teaching Philosophy Statement Draft:,


Future Faculty Programs and Workshops

Ph.D. students nearing the end of their graduate school careers and considering tenure-track teaching positions should consider applying to a Future Faculty program or workshop. The Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program is a national movement to transform the way aspiring faculty members are prepared for their careers. PFF programs provide doctoral students, as well as some master’s and postdoctoral students, with opportunities to observe and experience faculty responsibilities at a variety of academic institutions with varying missions, diverse student bodies, and different expectations for faculty.

While many of these programs are only open to students from that institution, there are others that accept students from across the country. We have highlighted a few below that are open to applications.

NC State University Building Future Faculty (BFF) Program

Program Dates: April 3 to 5, 2013

Application Deadline: November 11, 2012

Two day all-expenses paid workshop, which is held each spring at NC State University. The participants attend sessions describing life as a faculty member at a research extensive university, expectations of new faculty, and resources available to faculty for help with research and teaching. Participants attend presentations on research and teaching and faculty development, as well as having discussion sessions with current faculty at all levels from assistant to full professor.

Selection Criteria

  • Individuals with the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the university’s continuing commitment to cultural and ethnic diversity
  • In a doctoral or post-doctoral program and one to two years away from beginning to search for an academic position
  • Desire an academic teaching career at a research institution
  • Desire to pursue independent research as a faculty member
  • Demonstrate the potential to fill anticipated vacancies
  • Students from groups that are underrepresented in their disciplines are encouraged to apply

Virginia Tech Future Faculty Development Program

Program Dates: January

Application Deadline: Fall (has passed for this year)

Provides participants with the opportunity to hear presentations and have candid discussions with department heads, deans, and current faculty members about faculty life and the range of responsibilities of faculty in learning, discovery, and engagement. Participants will be hosted by a Virginia Tech department to tour research facilities, meet with current faculty to gain a greater awareness of research and teaching opportunities, and discuss their career prospects and academic work. 

There is no cost to participants and travel funding is available.

Selection Criteria

  • Be a graduate student or post-doctoral scholar within one or two years of seeking a faculty position at a research intensive institution,
  • Demonstrate career goals, research interests, and academic potential that align with Virginia Tech's mission and programs, and
  • Able to meaningfully contribute to the university's continuing commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence.

Northeastern University STEM Future Faculty Fellowship Program

Program Dates: Year-long academic appointment

Application Deadline: January 15, 2013

The STEM Future Faculty fellowship program:

  • Encourages and promote excellence and diversity in the pool of future faculty candidates in the STEM fields at Northeastern;
  • Introduces to Northeastern’s academic community qualified postdoctoral researchers in the STEM fields who are considering faculty careers;
  • Enhance opportunities for academic careers in the STEM fields for persons from diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to an inclusive faculty and an inclusive academic experience for all students;
  • Prepares Future Faculty Fellows for possible tenure-track appointments at Northeastern;
  • Enhances the academic environment of Northeastern’s STEM fields by providing opportunities for students and faculty to gain experience in multi-cultural, broadly diverse and inclusive work settings and research collaborations that improve the capacity of all their members.

Selection Criteria

A prospective Fellow must have completed the Ph.D. degree by the start of his/her fellowship term and no earlier than three years before the start of the fellowship term.

Fellows will be selected based on academic promise; alignment of the student’s academic objectives with Northeastern’s research projects, particularly with the potential research project(s) and lab(s) to which the Fellow would be assigned; and commitment to a diverse and inclusive academic community


Acting Like A Grad Student During Job Interviews - Don't Do It!

Your Grad Initiatives Intern here. A fellow grad shared this article with me and I found it quite eye-opening. While I have not yet gone on any job interviews, I'm glad I read this so I know what to avoid doing during interviews. A very insightful article by a professor from on what graduate students do during job interviews that hurt their chances of being hired:

You're Acting Like A Grad Student

Hopefully this will be as helpful to you as it was for me.


Scope Out Your Dream Job

Even if you are in your first year of a long journey to get a Ph.D., it is never too early to scope out your dream job.

I recently browsed The Chronicle of Higher Education’s job database and found a small collection of Instructional Design and Educational Technology tenure-track faculty positions. Although I am one to two years away from applying for jobs, I decided to open the job descriptions to see the requirements. Interestingly, all of the jobs that I looked at require online teaching experience. So, I contacted the Education Technology department where I received my M.A. to see if there were any pro bono teaching assistant positions to get online teaching experience.

It is important to be proactive when pursuing your dream job. Even if it seems like you will be in school forever, it is always a good idea to search for jobs you would like to apply for someday to look over the requirements. Do you have the necessary qualifications, skills, and experiences to be a strong candidate for that job? If there are requirements that you do not fulfill, find a way to address this (i.e., volunteer, intern, sit on a committee, join a professional organization) before you apply for the job.

Sample Qualifications for Tenure Track Assistant Math Professor:

Assistant Math Professor Qualifications


New Tech Tool: CVMaker

CVMaker Screenshot

CVMaker is a free tool that allows you to quickly build a professional looking CV without having to hassle with the various Microsoft Word CV and resume templates.

Input your information in six categories (basic information, work experience, qualifications, education, interests, references), click save, and you can export to PDF or share your CV as a URL. You can add your own sections (i.e., publications, invited lectures/workshops, professional organizations) and rearrange all of the sections with the drag-and-drop feature. Once you are done, you can export your CV in four formats (bold, elegant, executive, and literateur).

CVMaker Screenshot


LinkedIn PDF Export Tool

Did you know that you can export your LinkedIn profile as a PDF? LinkedIn outputs your information in a well-organized, professional resume document that you can print and share with potential employers (this is great to have on hand at a job fair or conference).

Here is how you can create a PDF of your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Login to LinkedIn and click on the "Profile" tab in the toolbar
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the "View" button (see screenshot below)
  3. Click "Export to PDF"

It's that simple. Here is an example of my LinkedIn profile in PDF format: TorreyTrust.pdf

LinkedIn screenshot


Business Cards 2.0

iPhone Screenshot PhotosIn a previous post, I mentioned the value of having business cards at the ready in case you meet someone you want to stay connected with.

My good friend Julie Antilla-Garza brought me up-to-speed in the 21st century by sending me her contact information via the Bump app. If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can download the free Bump app, input your contact information (i.e., your digital business card), and instantly share this information by tapping your phone with another person's smartphone. You can also share your bump card through email.

So, if you are tired of carrying your business cards around or if you never seem to have a business card when you need one, the Bump App might be a helpful alternative.

Do you know of any other apps or ways to share contact information quickly? Please share in the Comments section.

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