Archive for category Workshops

A Foolproof Grant Template

In Dr. Karen Kelsky’s Foolproof Grant Template from The Professor Is In (a great blog so check it out!), the outline is as straight forward as you are going to get.  I have read several of the instruction manuals for applying to NSF along with humanities grants, and while very VERY helpful, they are also very VERY long.  Not exactly documents you can start with at the beginning of your brainstorming session.

In additional posts, Dr. Kelsky also addresses several common errors including using the words “I need to…” as in “I need to fill this research gap” rather than describing in plain, formal language how you can (and will!) fill the gap.  Also, do NOT sign the document like a letter – it isn’t a letter!

Be sure to emphasize why you are applying in the first place.  Some helpful language:

“However, none of these works have addressed the central question of ___________.”

“This should be YOUR view of what is most essential to an accurate understanding of the big topic, but which  has never to date been studied by anyone else.”

If you are going to be asking for the big bucks, be sure to address the point of it all, the reason you should get the money, and why this research needs to be done.  Some more helpful language:

“I expect this research to contribute to debates on _______ and play an important role in________.”

Check out the post on the template from The Professor Is In.  Perhaps you can get a grant – and you should at least give the application process a try if the opportunity and funds are available.

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No you did NOT just read that book!

STOP THAT.  YES YOU.

DO NOT READ ANOTHER PAGE.

Look at you.  You’re a mess.  Academia everywhere, more than one coffee pot brewing – frankly I’m surprised one pair of glasses per year cuts it these days.  Those tired, tired eyes… there is no WAY 1-800 Contacts can have YOUR BRAND of magical graduate school super readers with vision enhancements for the 2 a.m. must-ingest-knowledge-but-don’t-know-why attack of the crazies.

I am here to help.  Well, this article on how to read while not actually reading is here to help.  Read that book in ONE HOUR.

According to Larry Cebula, here is how you do it in ten little tips (so if it ruins your grades and life’s work – you can blame him):

1. Create a clean space–a table, the book, paper and a writing utensil, and nothing else.

2. Read two academic reviews of the book you photocopied beforehand.  Allow five minutes for this.

3. Read the introduction, CAREFULLY and take good notes (with a bibliographic citation at the top of the page.) Allow twenty minutes here.

4. Now turn directly to the conclusion and read that. The conclusion will reinforce the thesis and have some more quotable material. In your notes write down 1-2 direct quotes suitable for using in a review or literature review, should you later be assigned to write such a beast. Ten to fifteen minutes.

5. Turn to the table of contents and think about what each chapter likely contains.  Five minutes.

6. (Optional) Skim 1-2 of what seem to be the key chapters. Look for something clever the author has done with her or his evidence, memorable phrases, glaring weaknesses–stuff you can mention and sound thoughtful. Ten minutes, max.

7. Put the notes and photocopied review in a file folder. These folders will serve as fodder for future assignments, reviews of similar books, lectures, grant applications, etc.

8. Miller time. Meet some friends and tell them the interesting things you just learned (driving it deeper it your memory).

9. If a book is considered especially important, or if it falls squarely within your research area, you should give it more time.

10. Don’t tell your professor you read the book in an hour or he or she will most likely flunk you.

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Vitae- a New Service from The Chronicle of Higher Ed

This is a brand new – just started – sort of sparse – get in at the ground level kind of thing.  The website, as of right now, is more of a mailing list.  However, as per the usual, The Chronicle has packed it with helpful information regarding job search and professional networking.  Example:

The Academic Conference: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Woooot!  Excellent information in the article linked above, including the suggestion to NOT BE CLINGY!  Get out there and meet people.  I know the temptation to just follow around a single person or stick with people you know.  Don’t do that!  A second strategy is to prepare to have conversations about hot topics in your field and not just the weather or your personal research.  Practice short, intelligent (and well-researched) responses to major and new issues.

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You’re Hired! Now What?

To all those who graduated, or are very close – be aware that buyers remorse isn’t exclusive to material items… It exists in the world of hiring management too!  You finally land a job – start it off right by maintaining the first impression you worked so hard to set.

According to a post by David Perlmutter in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

  1. Be thankful you got the job and don’t drop off the face of the planet once you get the green light.
  2. Respond to “Welcome Emails” from colleagues – you need their support and they need our support.
  3. Don’t compare the old to the new – no one wants to hear it!
  4. You still have to prepare – it is obvious when you don’t.  Teaching Chem 101 won’t be exactly the same.

Congratulations! You have a job!  Now, remember that first impression got you the job will help you keep it!

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Two Workshops Next Week!!

writing photo

Curriculum Vitae & Resume Critiques

Wednesday, June 26th 2013, 12:00pm–2:30pm

Chemistry and Physics Building, Room 303

Bring your CV or Resume and have a professional take a look! Get immediate feedback on existing job application materials, such as CVs, resumes, cover letters, and statements of purpose. Or, bring your laptop computer and work one-on-one with editors throughout the session. You can arrive with a blank page, start from scratch, and leave with a CV that is application-ready. SNACKS PROVIDED!

Dissertation Writing Group

Thursday, June 27th 2013, 9:00am–12:00pm

Email lberry@uta.edu for location

Do you have trouble locating a quiet place to write? Would you like to discuss your writing or organization with a trained tutor? Sign up now to work in a quiet, supportive environment that allows for intense, focused, and productive writing. A writing tutor will be available for consultation, but the purpose of this event is focused writing. No content will be presented. After registering to attend the event, email Lisa Berry (lberry@uta.edu) for location information. If you do not own a laptop computer, one can be provided for you. Include this information in your email.

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The Ph.D. Makes a Grand Comeback

Reputation.Com, headed by CEO Michael Fertik, examined common doctoral degrees and found that persons who hold them have seen their careers accelerate by more than 10% on average in terms of compensation (sadly, with the exception of the humanities and education). This research is discussed in a recent Linked In article by Fertik himself.

According to Fertik, the hard sciences, such as chemistry and physics, along with doctoral degrees in fields such as marketing and economics, all make the cut.  These degrees typically lead to higher wages and a greater increase in wages over time.

Granted – nothing is life is for certain, but as of now, the Ph.D. seems like it has made a comeback.

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Cover Letters

Take it from someone (Karen Kelsky, aka, The Professor) who has read approx 2200 cover letters: YOUR COVER LETTER PROBABLY STINKS!  Below, I have highlighted some some errors many students make straight from her amazing and seriously helpful site – The Professor Is In.

-Too long
-Not on letter head
-Doesn’t follow business letter etiquette
-Contains way to much info on your dissertation
-You label yourself as a student (rather than colleague)

Relate to some of these common mistakes? For more reasons your cover letter   probably stinks – and HOW to make it BETTER, check out the Professor’s blog article.

Check out the CV Writing workshop coming up at UT Arlington!

June 12 @ 12:30 p.m.

Room 303, Chemistry and Physics Building

Register on the EDGE site. FREE LUNCH!

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DS-PRO Open for New Goals

Doctoral Student Progress Report Online (DS-PRO) is unrolling Mark II, a BRAND NEW version of the on-line tool that allows doctoral students and professors at UT Arlington to collaboratively set, monitor, and report on their progress toward goals.  Some functions will be slightly different.  The system prompts you with instructions each time you log in – no training necessary!!

This system is important for students and advisors alike!  DS-PRO lets you improve accountability on all fronts and track your progress so there is a record of your performance.  This is VERY VALUABLE for things like: applying for fellowships and GTA/GRA positions, getting extra time for papers,and getting approval on petitions.  Log in to DS-Pro and set new goals!  Read an overview of the new DS-PRO Mark II for more information!

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Negotiating a Postdoc Position

Tuesday, April 30th 2013 – 6 p.m central! ONLINE!

Join a webinar hosted by the Institute for Broadening Participation on Tuesday, April 30th at 6 p/m/ CENTRAL (7 p.m. Eastern time). An experienced panel (both current postdocs and faculty members) will share their perspectives on this topic, followed by a Question & Answer period. Preregistration is requested! Simply sign up for the event below, through EDGE and we’ll send you the information you need.

You can submit questions before the webinar, online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VG86QR7

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Know What to Expect When You Graduate

Graduating with a Ph.D. is difficult enough on its own, without having to worry about paying off student loans and searching for available tenure-tracks across the country.  Most of you out there will find adjunct positions to help you along the way to your ultimate career goals.  So – know what to expect.

The Adjunct Project helps current and future adjunct faculty get a feel for salaries and what to expect as a cultural “norm” as far as work is concerned.  There is even an advice page.  Get suggestions and assistance from “near peers,” or colleagues who are a few years ahead of you.  They are blazing the path that is closest to your current experience so their advice won’t be outdated.

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