2018 participants with WPI President Laurie Leshin, Provost Winston Soboyejo, and Dean of Arts & Sciences Jean King
Launch Your Academic Career
The STEM Faculty Launch is a premier workshop for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers seeking tenure-track positions in the STEM fields. This two-day workshop covers best practices for pursuing, applying for, and establishing faculty careers. This annual workshop is open to candidates nationwide. Women and traditionally underrepresented minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.
Participants attend a variety of interactive sessions, receive career advice and feedback from expert faculty, and gain exposure to project-based learning, a hallmark of WPI education. All invited participants receive funding to cover travel expenses to and from WPI as well as lodging and meals during the workshop.
Participants will learn about critical topics for new and aspiring faculty:
- Negotiate for a tenure-track position or other faculty position
- Tips on preparing your research and teaching statements, using evidence-based teaching practice
- Prepare for the on-campus interview
- Develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for your professional goals
Feedback from Past Participants
“I found the STEM Faculty Launch incredibly helpful as it provided very tangible and practical advice on preparing my application materials for faculty positions, as well as discussed important milestones to achieve success while on the tenure track. The opportunity to meet with faculty for one-on-one mentoring was invaluable. Additionally, the most unexpected benefit was meeting peers with whom I’ve stayed in contact while navigating the job market.” – Dionna W. Williams, PhD, 2017 STEM Faculty Launch Participant, Instructor, Molecular & Comparative Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"It is hard to overstate how much my research statement and job talk improved thanks to the feedback I got at the STEM Faculty Launch. The program as a whole provided much-needed context for the academic job search. In the subject-specific breakout sessions, the faculty generously listened and responded to specific concerns I had about my application and offered tailored advice. I also got inspiration from the other participants and learned from their example. I am happy to report that I will be starting a tenure track position at Penn State in the fall, and I think this program helped my application stand out." - Linda Brown Westrick, Ph.D, 2017 STEM Faculty Launch Participant, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Connecticut.
"I am very grateful to the STEM Faculty Launch Program and for the mentors who shared with me very helpful insights and helped me prepare my documents. I am very happy to share that I got a tenure track position at MIT and will join the faculty after finishing my postdoc at Stanford. I strongly encourage future participants to actively participate in all the discussions and connect with their peers to prepare for the interviews together.” - Sili Deng, Ph.D., 2016 STEM Faculty Launch Participant, Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University and Visiting Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"The STEM Faculty Launch Program at WPI was extremely helpful in preparing me for the academic job search. The participating faculty delivered excellent advice on how to successfully land an academic position, and they even informed me about topics that I previously did not reflect on (for example: what NOT to ask during an interview, how to "pitch" your research to a non-expert, and the importance of job talks appealing to a BROAD audience). Thanks to the helpfulness of the workshop, I was able to excel in my job interviews and have several job offers." - Angelynn Alvarez, PhD, 2015 STEM Faculty Launch Participant, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, State University of New York at Potsdam.