ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0224.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: PUI; careers in science; primarily undergraduate institution
Online: 9 December 2020 (12:15:53 CET)
Scientists who hope to obtain a faculty position at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI) need a distinct skill set and outlook on their future teaching and research career. To obtain a position at a PUI, candidates should 1) design a strategy for obtaining a faculty position that suits each individual’s career goals and aspirations, 2) prepare for the application process, on-campus interview, and contract negotiations, and 3) plan a strategy for the probationary period leading up to tenure and promotion. Given the different types of PUIs, candidates need to consider whether they seek a position that consists of all or mostly all teaching, or both teaching and research. Candidates should educate themselves on the expectations at PUI’s, including current thought, practice, and aspirations for science pedagogy, and gain teaching experience prior to seeking a suitable position. If the candidate’s goal is a position with both teaching and research, it is important to discuss with the current research mentor what projects the candidate can take with them to their new position. The candidate should also consider what types of projects will be successful with undergraduate student researchers in a PUI research environment Importantly, candidates should clearly demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their teaching, research, and outreach, and application materials should demonstrate this. On interviews, candidates should be knowledgeable about the mission, values, and resources of the institution and how the candidate will contribute to that mission. Once hired, new faculty should discuss a formal or informal mentoring plan during the probationary period that includes peer evaluations on a regular basis, and maintain communication with the department chair or designated mentor regarding teaching, research, and service activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0221.v1
Subject: Keywords: PUI (primarily undergraduate institution); laboratory; start-up; negotiation; undergraduate; support; funding; equipment; mentorship; community
Online: 9 December 2020 (11:16:48 CET)
Scientists who are interested in building research programs at primarily-undergraduate institutions (PUIs) have unique considerations compared to colleagues at research-intensive (R1) institutions. Maintaining a research program at a PUI holds unique challenges that should be considered before prospective faculty go on the job market, as they negotiate a job offer, and after they begin a new position. In this article we describe some of the considerations that aspiring and newly hired faculty should keep in mind as they plan out how they will set up a laboratory as a new Principle Investigator (PI) at a PUI. Anyone hoping to start a research program at a PUI should understand both the timeframe of interviews, job offers, and negotiations and the challenges and rewards of working with undergraduate researchers. Once a job is offered, candidates should be aware of the range of negotiable terms that can be part of a start-up package. Space and equipment considerations are also important, and making the most of shared spaces, existing infrastructure, and deals can extend the purchasing power of start-up funds as a new PIs builds their lab. PUIs’ focus on undergraduate education and mentorship leads to important opportunities for collaboration, funding, and bringing research projects directly into undergraduate teaching laboratories. A major focus of any new laboratory leader must be on building a productive, equitable, and supportive laboratory community. Equitable onboarding, mentorship plans, and formalized expectations, can all help build a productive and sustainable laboratory research program. However, important considerations about safety, inclusion, student schedules, and a PI’s own professional commitments are also extremely important concerns when working with undergraduates in research. A successful research program at a PUI will bring students into meaningful scientific inquiry and requires insights and skills that are often not the focus of scientific training. This article aims to describe the scope of setting up a new laboratory as a way to alleviate some of the burden that new and prospective faculty often feel.