5 Books you MUST Read for Transitioning from a Postdoc to Tenure-Track Position
Introduction: What does it mean to transition from a postdoc to a tenure-track position and what are the expected skills?
It is important to understand that a postdoctoral position is not the same as a tenure-track position. Postdocs are usually in the lab and don’t have much experience in teaching or other skills that are required of professors. However, with some guidance and training, they can learn these skills and be successful as tenure-track professors. The expected skills for a tenure-track position include leadership, mentorship, and communication skills. The postdoc position is used as a training ground for these skills.
The transition from postdoc to tenure-track can be a difficult one. It is important that you are prepared for this transition and know the steps to take in order to get there.
This article will provide you with 5 books that you should read in order to successfully transition from a postdoc to a tenure-track position. These books will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge for the next step of your academic career.
You will learn how to navigate the academic job market, how to write a successful CV / cover letter / a good research proposal, how to apply for funding, what questions interviewers are looking for, how to create your own lab, and much more.
The following five books are geared towards preparing you for the transition from postdoc to tenure-track position. It will give you an edge over other candidates!
|Tenure hacks: The 12 secrets of making tenure||Tenure Hacks: The 12 Secrets of Making Tenure A brutally Machiavellian guidebook on how to make tenure for the current or aspiring assistant professor, this irreverent treasure trove of tips and tricks pulls back the curtain on the tenure game and how to win it. Chapters 1.It’s a (money) game: Follow the money, know the game 2.Winning doesn’t always matter: It’s the CV, stupid 3.Why you won’t be told the truth: Conflicting interests 4.Focus, focus, focus: DON’T follow your passion 5.It’s all about timing: The clock is 3 years, not 6 6.The right publishing mindset: It’s fishing, not baseball 7.The right publishing practices: Watch the clock 8.Suck at teaching: Escape the time sink 9.Win the student evaluation game: Gaming the system 10.The real purpose of conferences: Not what you think 11.The potential poison of early grants: Not all that glitters is good (for you) 12.Politics & service: Join the silent minority Bonus section: The job hunt - Getting to the tenure track in the first place||152||2014||Buy Now|
|Advice for New Faculty Members 1st Edition||Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus is a unique and essential guide to the start of a successful academic career. As its title suggests (nothing in excess), it advocates moderation in ways of working, based on the single-most reliable difference between new faculty who thrive and those who struggle. By following its practical, easy-to-use rules, novice faculty can learn to teach with the highest levels of student approval, involvement, and comprehension, with only modest preparation times and a greater reliance on spontaneity and student participation. Similarly, new faculty can use its rule-based practices to write with ease, increasing productivity, creativity, and publishability through brief, daily sessions of focused and relaxed work. And they can socialize more successfully by learning about often-misunderstood aspects of academic culture, including mentoring. Each rule in Advice for New Faculty Members has been tested on hundreds of new faculty and proven effective over the long run -- even in attaining permanent appointment. It is the first guidebook to move beyond anecdotes and surmises for its directives, based on the author's extensive experience and solid research in the areas of staff and faculty development.||336||2000||Buy Now|
|Candid Advice for New Faculty Members: A Guide to Getting Tenure and Advancing Your Academic Career 1st Edition||“If you want to achieve tenure, you should know a bit more about what it means and why it exists, and its benefits. All too often, even faculty don’t understand why tenure is important." Thus begins the Preface of Candid Advice for New Faculty Members, the newest and most comprehensive “how to” guide for graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty across a variety of academic disciplines. Drawing upon her own extensive experiences and that of many colleagues, Marybeth Gasman provides you with an incredibly valuable tool for attaining tenure and for the things that you should do to advance your academic career. She provides practical (and sometimes humorous) advice about a range of topics.||275||2021||Buy Now|
|The Black Academic's Guide to Winning Tenure--Without Losing Your Soul||For an African American scholar, who may be the lone minority in a department, navigating the tenure minefield can be a particularly harrowing process. Kerry Ann Rockquemore and Tracey Laszloffy go beyond standard professional resources to serve up practical advice for black faculty intent on playing and winning the tenure game. Addressing head-on how power and the thorny politics of race converge in the academy, The Black Academic s Guide is full of invaluable tips and hard-earned wisdom. It is an essential handbook that will help black faculty survive and thrive in academia without losing their voices, or their integrity.||261||2008||Buy Now|
|How to Succeed as a Scientist: From Postdoc to Professor 1st Edition||This unique, practical guide for postdoctoral researchers and graduate students explains how to build and perfect the necessary research tools and working skills to build a career in academia and beyond. It is based on successful training workshops run by the authors: first, it describes the tools needed for independent research, from writing papers to applying for academic jobs; it then introduces skills to thrive in a new job, including managing and interacting with others, designing a taught course and giving a good lecture; and it concludes with a section on managing your career, from how to manage stress to understanding the higher education system. Packed with helpful features encouraging readers to apply the theory to their individual situation, the book is also illustrated throughout with real-world case studies to enable readers to learn from others' experience. It is a vital handbook for everyone seeking to make a successful scientific career.||226||2011||Buy Now|
What are some Common Mistakes that Postdocs Make when Pursuing Academic Jobs?
The most common mistake that postdocs make in academia is not having a clear goal on what they want to do. This is a mistake because it makes it hard for them to know what research projects to pursue and which academic jobs to apply for. It also makes it difficult for them to know what skills they need to develop in order to pursue their goal.
Another common mistake that postdocs make is not being proactive enough in their job search efforts. Postdocs should be proactive and take initiative in networking with other academics, attending conferences, and sending out applications as soon as they have them ready.
Postdoc’s should also be careful not to underestimate the importance of having a network. For example, if you have friends in the industry or have a mentor in the field you want to be in, it is good to reach out to them and ask for career advice.
5 Best Practices for Successfully Transitioning into Faculty Positions
The transition from postdoc to faculty member in academia is a difficult process. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 best practices for successfully transitioning into faculty positions. These best practices are based on personal experience and what we have learned from others who have successfully transitioned into faculty positions.
1) Diversify your experience before you transition into faculty positions. It’s not just about being a professor anymore, it’s about being a teacher, researcher, and academic leader. Gain as much experience as possible in these areas both inside and outside of academia. It will make you competitive for the next job opportunity and help you develop the skills necessary to thrive in the position.
2) Do your research before applying: Before you apply for a faculty position, do your research on the university and the department that you are applying for. This will help you decide if it is the right place for you.
3) Build relationships with your potential colleagues: You can build relationships with potential colleagues by attending conferences, workshops or other events where they might be present or by emailing them directly. This will help them know who you are and what you are good at.
4) Gather information about the position such as the role, hours, start date, salary: It is important to know before applying for a position what your expected work schedule will be. Salary can also be found out through the university website or department website.
5) Send a thank-you letter after receiving an offer of employment!
The postdoc phase is the time when scientists are exploring a new field, conducting research, and refining their skills. This is an important period in a scientist’s career.
The transition from postdoc to tenure-track position is not always easy. It requires some preparation and foresight to ensure that you are on track for success. We hope the books presented in this section can help you in your transition from postdoc to tenure-track position!