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. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will earn a certificate of completion.
2017 STEM Faculty Launch Agenda (PDF) - Updated
Participants will learn about critical topics for new and aspiring faculty:
- Negotiate for a tenure-track position or other faculty position
- Prepare your teaching statement with evidence-based teaching practice
- Design an effective research statement
- Prepare for the on-campus interview
- Develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for your professional goals
- Tell your story through public speaking and social media
Feedback from Past Participants
"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., Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University, 2016 STEM Faculty Launch Participant
"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, University of Houston, 2015 STEM Faculty Launch Participant
“The program last year was one of the best career development events I’ve participated in. It covered the entire process comprehensively in a short amount of time, and contained insights and advice I’ve found to be on point over the past year. Several of the things I learned or was exposed to during the program were invaluable during my search, from the application process through to the negotiations. I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in a career in academia. Thank you WPI for running this program. The above is not hyperbole, it really is an excellent program and I hope you’re able to continue it for many years.” - Christina Hamlet, PhD, Tulane University, 2015 STEM Faculty Launch Participant