In the past year, I applied for several faculty positions in the U.S., and I figured out that the academic environment was not the right place for me, so I moved to the biotech industry recently. Now I still vividly remember the whole process of faculty application; I would like to share how I prepared for the faculty application and my experience.
Usually, there are three documents for faculty application, Research Statement, Teaching Statement, and Diversity Statement. The research statement is prepared to show what you plan to do when you prepare to start your own lab in the future. In other words, this is the research proposal you want to show to the department you are applying to, and the research aims should be distinguished from your previous work. Why should we propose different work? We do not want to compete with our previous mentors, and some might think that you are not an independent researcher if you cannot develop your research field. The best way to solve this is to combine your work as a Ph.D. student and postdoc to create a new research field or application. The teaching statement is to share your teaching experience and teaching philosophy. The teaching experience includes being a lecturer, holding workshops, mentoring students, and public education (scientific shows…etc.). The teaching philosophy is to demonstrate your ideas in teaching and learning, what method you plan to use in teaching, and why you think it is the best way to teach students. Usually, a lot of universities would provide guidelines for a teaching statement. Here is the website from Cornell University. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have become a popular topic in the U.S., so in most faculty applications, we need to submit a diversity statement. What is a diversity statement? How do we prepare for it? Usually, we could include what we have done in the past to contribute to the DEI and what we plan to do to enhance the DEI in the future department/school, including in your group. These are the most important documents for the faculty application.
In sum, although I am choosing not to become a faculty, I will write more articles about how I prepared these documents for the faculty application, and I hope this series of articles will be helpful for those who plan to apply for faculty positions in the U.S.