Academic Careers

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Are you preparing to apply to academic jobs with your PhD? You may find it useful to know the key steps to creating job application materials, delivering engaging stories in academic interviews, and navigating the complex job market within the academy.

This page offers information to supplement the technical and specific support given by departments. Use it to guide your strategies for success.

Write Your Statements

Research Statements

Research statements explain in narrative form highlights of your CV, your vision for future research projects, and other relevant research ideas and plans. We strongly suggest you do not restate what is on your CV Instead, tell a story of how you came to think of your research. Be sure to include what makes your research stand out,interesting, and valuable to study. Keep in mind the audience for which you are writing and address their interests needs. Communicate how you plan to approach your research and work within the department with potential colleagues. This document is typically one to two pages for humanities. For the Science fields, this can be up to five pages with references. Ask advisors and peers in your discipline to see their research statements.

Here are some additional tips for approaching your statement:

  • Identify yourself, your research, and your research agenda.
  • Address the current state of affairs, namely the research problem and your approach to addressing those challenges.
  • Explain the impact your research has to the broader field, or even beyond your discipline. 
  • Summarize your research goals and projects. 
  • Outline your next steps for research/publications.


Teaching Statements

Teaching statements explain your motivation and approach to teaching through examples of your experience and background. Be sure to integrate how your research informs your teaching approach. You should demonstrate how you help students learn and the style you use in the classroom. Tell a story (or a few) that illuminate how you act in the classroom and the type of instructor you are. It may also be helpful to include examples of student responses, behaviors, or feedback you received about your teaching. Understand the values, mission, and goals of the department to which you apply. Be sure to investigate how teaching is valued at the institution you apply to and show how you align with their values. Understand the expectations of where you apply, including the volume and types of students served and the types of teaching needs the department may have. Lastly, make sure you are writing authentically. This is an opportunity for the reader to understand how you work in the classroom, so make sure it is true to you.


Philosophy Statements

Philosophy statements differ from the teaching statement in that it speaks to your bigger-picture teaching ideals. The goal for this document is to describe your teaching style, goals for your students, your view of learning, and the general principles that characterize your teaching style. You generally do not need to change this document once you write a solid version. If the job application only asks for a teaching statement, then incorporate some of the bigger picture teaching ideals into your teaching statement briefly. 


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