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Navigating the Academic and Professional Job Search: A Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers
A Service of the AEESP Student Services Committee
AEESP Research and Education Conference
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The AEESP Student Services Committee is calling for student and postdoc participants and faculty volunteers for the Navigating the Academic Job Search Workshop to be held in June 2017 as part of the AEESP Research and Education Conference. This builds on four previous workshops (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), which were highly regarded by graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. We aim to continue that tradition. Participants receive advice from seasoned professors and established professionals regarding their individual job-search application package and learn about the search process, interview strategies, negotiation procedures, and how to become more skilled candidates. Individuals seeking a faculty appointment in environmental engineering or science or those wanting to compare academia to industry will greatly benefit from attending this event.

OPPORTUNITY: Students and Postdocs: Application Package Feedback
Student and postdoc workshop participants will learn about the academic and professional job search process and will receive individualized feedback on their draft application documents from teams of professors and professionals through small group activities. Participants will also receive first-hand insights regarding job expectations from representatives of a diverse range of teaching and research institutions. To register, see the Registration Instructions for Student and Postdoc Participation section below.

WANTED: Faculty Volunteer Reviewers
Several weeks before the workshop students and postdocs will submit materials as if they were applying for an academic and/or professional position (as described in their registration process). We are looking for faculty members to review these materials and work with students and postdocs during the workshop to help them improve their application packages. To volunteer, please email the Student Services Committee (

Workshop Agenda
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
8:30-10:15 Panel Discussion: The Environmental Engineering Faculty Search Process. We will have a group of five panelists with knowledge about the search process in environmental engineering. The panel discussion question and answer will be facilitated by Phil Larese-Casanova, from Northeastern University.
10:30-12:00 Two concurrent break-out sessions:
Break-out session for students/postdocs who submitted their application packages by May 15th: Teams of two or three faculty with three students and postdocs will be assigned and the student/postdoc application packages will be given to the faculty before the workshop. These teams will meet in person during the small-group break-out session to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the packages. Students and postdocs can also ask further questions about the overall search process.
Break-out Session for students/postdocs who did not submit packages: This session is geared toward students/postdocs who are not yet on the job market and thus have not prepared an application package. The session will involve a second question-and-answer period, with examples of proper application elements being presented. This session will also have a focus on what students/postdocs can do now to prepare themselves for future job-search endeavors.
Registration Instructions for Student and Postdoc Participation
Because this workshop is designed to provide doctoral students and postdocs with personalized feedback about their academic and professional job search, attendance for the first break-out session is limited to only 30 participants. As a condition of participating in that session, and in order to provide the most meaningful help in the academic search process, participants agree to do the following:

1) By May 15th, 2017 submit an introductory statement and an attached PDF file by email to the Student Services Committee (

The introductory statement should have:
  • Name and current contact information
  • Expected graduation date or date of completion of postdoctoral research
  • Professional career goal (e.g. consulting, research intensive academia, PUI academia, etc.)

For the file, put the following documents together into one PDF:
  • Cover letter
  • Research Statement
  • Teaching Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of Equipment and Major Supplies
  • Three PowerPoint slides describing future research plans

Participants may craft their cover letter in response to sample job postings for Research Universities or Primarily Undergraduate Institutions. Additional advice for package preparation can be found at our Advice for Preparing the Academic Job Application Package page. Seats for the personalized reviews will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so early submission of packages is encouraged. Notice of acceptance and assignment to a review cluster will be communicated within a week after package submission.
2) By June 1st, 2017 participate in the Student Services Committee’s online wiki project by following the instructions at this link: 2017 Workshop Wiki-Work Instructions.

3) By June 20th, 2017 perform reviews for all other students and postdocs within your assigned review cluster and prepare to share feedback at the workshop.

Participants not fully completing steps 1 and 2 will not be able to participate in the package review break-out session of the workshop.

Workshop Leaders & Questions

This workshop is being organized by the AEESP Student Services Committee (SSC). A complete listing of Committee Members can be found on the AEESP SSC Wiki:
Contact the following people if you have questions:

More information about the conference can be found at