Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
American Society of Civil Engineers
Students and postdoctoral associates interested in tenure-track environmental engineering positions have limited resources to aid them. The Student Services Committee (SSC) of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) organized a workshop to fill some of the need. Newly hired faculty and experienced search committee and department chairs shared information on how to create competitive applications. Students and postdoctoral associates were also provided with individualized feedback on their faculty application packages. Survey data were collected for all participants, and these data are presented in this paper along with tips shared during the workshop and information collected from the literature. The objective of this paper is to share that information (1) to inform applicants (students and postdoctoral associates) about the academic job search process, and (2) to inform mentors about how to mentor applicants. Survey responses revealed that participants felt they learned valuable information about the job search process. They found the personalized feedback on application packages to be the most helpful activity; other mentors are encouraged to provide similar personalized feedback. A wiki website component included in the workshop was effective at engaging the participants and helped broaden the impact beyond the workshop attendees. Key lessons learned by comparing workshop results with literature were the importance of fit, the unique diversity of environmental engineering, mentoring and networking, Ph.D. planning sessions, being informed, and becoming a more skilled candidate. The recommendations presented in this paper can be used by students, postdoctoral associates, and their mentors to facilitate the candidate’s path toward academia.
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