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Include an executive summary. But even the safest project must be worth doing, and even the riskiest must appear to have a reasonable chance of working. Being someone with whom others can collaborate in the future is great. More specifics I only really knew for my own institution, Hope College (a research intensive undergraduate liberal arts college with no graduate program), and even there you might get a dozen nuanced opinions among my dozen colleagues. At the other end sit rosy-cheeked, freshly minted Ph.D.s full of enthusiasm, promise, and ideas, but with little yet to show for it. Have a solid, well-considered, realistic plan. All of our sources have experience; some of our sources have a lot of experience. Jim Austin is the former editor of Science Careers. At many educational institutions, everyone in the department will read the proposal critically, at least if you make the short list to interview. What types of materials? Moreover, you may need a few different sets of these, especially if you will be applying to a broad range of institutions. For this reason, many applicants wisely choose to identify: Having more than three projects is probably unrealistic. Choose whichever format seems to best suit your planning style. Most hiring committees aren't looking for completely independent work; they're looking for original, creative ideas, together with a record of accomplishment. Uncover the Chemistry in Everyday Life, Recognizing and celebrating excellence in chemistry and celebrate your achievements. Why? Be careful, however: This is tricky ethical territory. A third project that fits somewhere in the middle. In a research statement for a faculty job, you have to explain your research trajectory — past, present, and future — in a balanced way. © 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science. When writing a research plan/statement when applying for an assistant professor position, how should be the document structure? There are different realities of resources, scope, scale, and timeline. There is some disagreement here among respondents. I wish I could tell my Ph.D. adviser, Amid the cheering, some vaccines face questions, New challenges emerge for planned human challenge trials, Federal hospital data system falters at tracking pandemic, Scientists fear no-deal Brexit as deadline looms, American Association for the Advancement of Science. The tenure-track faculty vote on all initial and subsequent appointments within their department or program. Summarizing a literature-based example of topics related to his. Identify your goals, state why those goals are important, define your approach to achieving those goals, and indicate the kinds of evidence that will validate your approach. But these days some institutions and departments are looking for more than that. Technical Divisions In the words of one scholar, "You can tell a 'building castles in the sky' research plan. It is crucial, in this case, to be able to visualize the ‘big picture’ not being too vague! "[That kind of research] can travel down several different mechanistic routes," this respondent says, "i.e., angiogenesis, breakdown of extracellular matrix, gene activation, induction of molecules involved--it can use different models--implanting tumors, using different tumor models, in vivo, in vitro, etc." Want to get that academic faculty job you’ve been dreaming about? Multidisciplinary research, teaching and learning of a high standard generate new knowledge and know-how for the benefit of humankind. If your writing skills are weak, it might be time to strengthen them. Think it through and present a workable strategy. Are you stressed about writing a lengthy research plan as part of the application process? Motivate your work (why must this work be done?). Furthermore, we'll keep talking to people about this topic, and we'll incorporate new responses into this document as we receive them. It's possible to function quite well as a postdoc or grad student while giving little thought to your future. If you're a lousy writer, get help. Some faculty advise tailoring every application packet document to every institution to which you apply, while others suggest tweaking only the cover letter. A research plan is a short document, which sets out initial thoughts on a research project in a logical and concise manner. How, then, do you distinguish your research from your adviser's research? After all, some people are passionate about, um, peculiar things. It is nice if you can tweak a few sentences of other documents to highlight your fit to a specific school, so long as it is not contrived. Funding to support the advancement of the chemical sciences through research projects. A perusal of the academic job ads in C&EN every August–October will quickly reveal that most schools expect a cover letter (whether they say so or not), a CV, a teaching statement, and a research plan, along with reference letters and transcripts. But the most important element of the proposal is the plan of work for the term of the postdoc. Bulleted lists are good; page-long paragraphs, bad. A knowledge gap is an impediment to progress in a field. The idea is to present, up front, in half a page or so, the information that the committee is most likely to be looking for in the early, screening phase of the search: clearly stated research goals, the most compelling motivation, and the general approach you intend to take. Note that there are two issues here: believing in the importance of your own work, and persuading others that your work is important. All rights Reserved. Others preferred a broad-brushed approach: "Is the research question a good question? Also beware of presuming you can help advance the research of someone already in a department. Research: ... current year and your current position (YEAR 1) and then plan for the remaining years based on your career goals and objectives. This page is something you could manageably consider tailoring to each institution. Expectations for research statements vary among disciplines. I suggest preparing for both types. ", Avoid misrepresentations. "Once we have a short list of candidates," writes yet another source, "the research proposals are looked at more carefully for imaginative ideas that differ from the candidates’ Ph.D. or postdoctoral research." Do they actually want that help—or will they feel like you are criticizing or condescending to them, trying to scoop them, or seeking to ride their coattails? ACS-Hach Programs However, the projects should be sufficiently disparate that a failure of one key idea, strategy, or technique will not hamstring your other projects. That's the outline of the story you must tell: "I did this work as a grad student/postdoc and it was important and it was great. Relying on collaborators for the success of your projects is unwise. Find awards and scholarships advancing diversity in the chemical sciences. So having at least the introduction and executive summaries of your projects comprehensible and compelling to those outside your discipline is highly advantageous. First, I will keep updating emerging technologies, techniques, and materials. a quick (and clear) idea of the proposed research is a must." However, all of the questions are unbiased and appropriate to ask. The first part will focus on your past research, and can include the reasons you started your research, an explanation as to why the questions you originally asked are important in your field, and a summary some of the work you did to answer some of these early questions. Most candidates for entry-level tenure-track faculty jobs at institutions that require research (that is, most of the people who write research plans for job applications) are somewhere in the middle. So save your greatest degree of tailoring for your cover letter. ACS Professional Education We considered everything, filtered out the muck, and distilled it all down to a general strategy and a few simple principles, with a few variations on the theme thrown in for good measure. The importance of this research is to see if what labels claim on the content of Vitamin C … However, we need to have enough of a niche or a unique angle both to endure the longer timeframe necessitated by smaller groups of undergraduate researchers and to ensure that we still stand out. A research plan should tell how great the science is, not how great you are. As a consequence this piece, like the other tools in the tool kit, will remain fresh and useful when other resources have become dated and useless. This is especially true if there is doubt about how you plan to target or "market" your research. Explore the interesting world of science with articles, videos and more. And if you've already started to think about your own lab, it will help you to refine your plans. After all, if it is such a good idea in their immediate area of interest, why aren’t they pursuing it?!? "Clear, concise writing ... is a plus," said another. Your proposed research must do more than extend what you have already done. In my opinion, ten pages total for your research plans should be a fairly firm upper limit unless you are specifically told otherwise by a search committee, and then only if you have two to three distinct proposals. Learn about financial support for future and current high school chemistry teachers. Use color as necessary but not gratuitously. Clear and to the point wins every time in this arena.". Preliminary data offer the most convincing argument for the viability of your research plan. A chalk talk could be your plans for your first NIH R01 grant proposal or a 10-year research plan. It should be noted that the term Research Faculty includes Research Professor titles as well as Research Associates and Senior Research Associates. You not only have to tell a good story--you also have to make it seem real, to make them expect it to come true. Inhibiting tumor growth? Faculty Candidates To help facilitate the search process, the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Academic Personnel have compiled a list of questions that faculty might use during telephone and/or on-campus interviews. If you don't think the work you'll be doing is important, your best bet is to change fields. And speaking of Swarthmore: Research plans sent to predominantly undergraduate institutions should be carefully designed to coexist with substantial teaching loads and to benefit from the participation of undergraduate students. Provide the committee a compelling, reassuring, believable image of what their life will be like when you are working down the hall. Highlight how your work will contribute to the education of these students. You can't be a one-trick pony. FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PLAN . It helps to be somewhere in the middle of that continuum, but most committees are still looking more for promise than for guarantees. Okay, so that isn't exactly true: It isn't hard to find advice. Include preliminary data. Professor Gillmore is the organizer of the Biennial Midwest Postdoc to PUI Professor (P3) Workshop co-sponsored by ACS, and a frequent panelist at the annual ACS Postdoc to Faculty (P2F) Workshops. Only a few actually indicated they would read up to 12-15 pages for three projects. Include some preliminary data, if you can, and be more detailed and precise. In her list of fatal errors, one respondent wrote: "Poorly covering or misstating the literature, grammatical or spelling errors, and, near the top of the list, writing research plans that ask for too much effort on the part of the reader--they should be clear and concise. Rational: The food industry has been adding additives to food such as vitamins and minerals to enhance the food nutritional value and to help individuals who have a low in-take of them. Write it carefully. Find sample research statements using a search engine, websites of professional organizations, etc. Hiring committees desperately want to avoid making a serious mistake by investing institutional and intellectual capital in the wrong person. Just as rare are programs designed to help doctoral students and postdocs learn how to create a research plan. ... What type of career is the postdoc interested in pursuing (faculty position in a research institution, faculty position at a teaching college, research scientist in industry, entrepreneur, etc. A second project that is pie-in-the-sky with high risks and rewards. Faculty application packets typically include a Cover Letter, a Curriculum Vitae (CV), Letters of Reference, a Research Statement and/or a Teaching Statement or Diversity Statement. YEAR 1: Assistant Professor (first year) 2012-13 TEACHING (50%) Provide an indication of teaching expectations each year, including development of teaching skills. Your plan will need to show the committee that it is scientifically sound that you have the skill set to carry it out (or know how you will acquire it) As you craft and refine your research plan, keep the following strategies, as well as your audience in mind: Here is where the answers diverged the most and without a unifying trend across institutions. Increasingly, especially in the biomedical field, universities are hiring established researchers, even at the "entry" (assistant professor) level. ACS is committed to helping combat the global COVID-19 pandemic with initiatives and free resources. In this article I’ll share those commonalities, while also encouraging you to be unafraid to contact a search committee chair with a few specific questions, especially for the institutions you are particularly excited about and feel might be the best fit for you. It is hoped that you have a good, open relationship with your adviser; if you do, go in and chat and coordinate your strategies. So take a stab at writing a research plan, even if you don't expect to be on the job market for a while. Can't do this yet? Writing a research plan casts your gaze forward and prompts you to begin planning for when you have your own laboratory. There is some variation from one discipline to the next (the first of these recommendations came from a medical school, the second from a department of chemistry), but there are few if any standards even within a field. First, choose an important subject. Advance your career with professional development courses. Learn More, By Jason G. Gillmore, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, MI. A single page abstract or executive summary of all your projects together provides you an opportunity to make the case for unifying themes yet distinct projects. Do not fear. Or hire an editor. And by all means have several people--preferably senior colleagues who have served on hiring committees--critique your research plan. Biochemistry is a partial exception to this advice—in this subdiscipline it is quite common to bring a project with you from a postdoc (or more rarely your Ph.D.) to start your independent career. Find a chemistry community of interest and connect on a local and global level. "If you were sitting for 4 hours reading such proposals, what would you look for? So how do you do it? Bottom line, you need space to make your case, but even more, you need people to read what you write. This document will guide faculty in their developmental activities and guide the Department Chairand dean in faculty evaluations. A research plan isn't just for demonstrating; it's also for honing and refining. This will come up in interviews, and hopefully you will eventually need these details to negotiate a start-up package. Collaborate with scientists in your field of chemistry and stay current in your area of specialization. They are not built on solid data and go to the very bottom of the pool." When thinking of your research plans, focus on the output that you will produce. "Over hyping," writes a source, "is very dangerous. This document describes appointment, reappointment, evaluation and promotion procedures for Research Professor Series titles faculty (Research Assistant Professors, Research Associate Professors, Research Professors). A research plan is the major part of an application and is described as the most important document for an investigator’s projected research sample.It also provides a major analyst regarding the opportunity to talk about proposed research, describing its benefits, and how it will be implemented and conducted. As will become apparent later in this document, one of the functions of a research plan is to demonstrate your intellectual vision and aspirations. It's an apparent Catch-22: You need to show that your ideas are fresh, new, and yours, and you have to show they're grounded in work you've already done, usually in someone else's lab. One of my sources was unequivocal on this point: "Does the research question build on the preliminary data the person has generated? STRATEGIC RESEARCH PLAN FOR FACULTY AND STUDENT RESEARCH ... advancing Western’s position as one of anada’s premiere research-intensive institutions. While this is especially important at schools with greater teaching missions, it can help set you apart even at research intensive institutions. ): Researching Institutions . Proposed Tenure Department: Plant and Microbial BiologyAppointment Term: 9 monthThe new Department of Plant and Microbial Biology comprises a diverse and integrative group of scientists studying genetics, ecology, evolution, and molecular biology. Applications with a research proposal longer than 14,000 characters will not be considered. To prepare for upcoming interviews, collect information on: Department’s course offerings Institutional mission Research/teaching ratio Student population Faculty … Writes one respondent: "If the proposal confuses the reader in almost any way, it is simply tossed out. Title of the project. In most subdisciplines, you must be sufficiently removed from your postdoctoral or graduate work that you will not be lambasted for clinging to an advisor’s apron strings. On paper. Now, if you are applying to widely different types of institutions, a few different sets of documents will certainly be necessary. Initial appointment is for three years and is generally initiated by tenure-track faculty recommendation to the department/program, which upon approval is forwarded to the associate dean. Although job postings do tend to detail the research or teaching areas a given school may be looking for, these are often broad, and there can be more than one in a given announcement. The DOC formats must be used for filling the forms. I’d say plan on making your research presentation in about 40 minutes if you have an hour. Avoid obvious mistakes. While the research plan is not the place to articulate start-up needs, you should consider instrumentation and other resources that will be necessary to get started, and where you will go for funding or resources down the road. Furthermore, presenting more than one idea will help convince the committee that you aren't a one-trick pony. "Clear figures and illustrations," writes a respondent, "that can give the reader (skimmer!) Research proposals must not exceed 14,000 characters including spaces. That's better, says one of our respondents--especially when that general goal is supported by more specific strategies. When embarking on a research program, you need to set long-term goals and figure out what needs to be done now to achieve them. Call it an abstract if you wish. Oh, and do it clearly and succinctly. The Research Plan outlines the strategies and tactics the Faculty of Education intends to use to position it solidly as a leader in the local, provincial, national, and international arena of educational research. If no advice is forthcoming, aim for five pages, 12-point Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced. Customize your research plan to the institution you're applying for. That means that any one approach you specify might not work, even if it seems compelling. It's one thing to make it sound good; if you can show that you've already taken the first, tentative but successful steps of that long journey, reaching your destination will seem a lot less like a pipe dream. –Organize your talk in terms of an overarching theme that ties together your research areas –Give adequate background to allow your audience to see the novelty/ contribution of your work –Allot only a couple slides per experiment –Don’t include: number of subjects, specific details about methodology and research design, unless they are novel –Explain your 5 year research plan –Explain your career … The responses certainly varied, but they did center on a few main themes, or illustrate a trend across institution types. The answer depends a lot on your individual situation, field, where you are applying, and so on. There are two parts to this: You have to tell a good story, and you have to make them believe it. Rational: The food industry has been adding additives to food such as vitamins and minerals to enhance the food nutritional value and to help individuals who have a low in-take of them. In general the plan includes three sections: research, teaching, and service. Some places will view collaboration very favorably, but the safest route is to cautiously float such ideas during interviews while presenting research plans that are exciting and achievable on your own. Comments, suggestions? Tell them a story--a believable, credible story--about what your lab will be like 5 years from now: well-funded, vibrant, productive, pursuing a valuable, ambitious but realistic research agenda that meshes well with the department's mission and with the other research going on in the department. Application form material is common for all rolling advertisement for faculty recruitment and post-doctoral fellowships (research staff). A2A: I don’t have a lot to add to the good answers from Eric and Shriram. Passion for your work is a necessary, but insufficient, condition for capturing the attention of hiring committees. My recommendation? Some will think it's a bit too long, others a bit too short, but no one will throw it out because of its length. I'm putting together applications for assistant professor positions and some ask for a research statement whereas others ask for a research plan (still others, although a rarity, ask for neither).. Including a hypothesis is unlikely to hurt you (assuming it's done effectively), and it'll keep you in the running at institutions where a hypothesis is required. A report is a systematic, well planned document which outlines and evaluates a subject or problem. For your security, this online session is about to end due to inactivity. Include where you will pursue funding, as well as publication, if you can smoothly work it in. When embarking on a research program, you need to set long-term goals and figure out what needs to be done nowto achieve them. But you also must be able to make the case for why your training makes this a good problem for you to study—how you bring a unique skill set as well as unique ideas to this research. Being specific means including only as much detail as the job requires--not more. But at many large Ph.D. programs, any consideration of "niche" can be inferred as a lack of confidence or ambition. Still, increasingly it's a fact of life. With your adviser's cooperation. Keep it short and focus on the major themes. In that position, they write research grants in their own names and their host institutions sponsor them. Just starting out as a postdoc? If the research you propose is not manifestly, obviously important, if you don't know why it's important, or if you can't convey its importance effectively, convincing the committee to hire you won't be easy. Opinions vary. One person I spoke to said that a research plan should be "about three pages of 1.5-spaced text, and NEVER more than five." Demonstrate your awareness of other work being done in the field. You have identified the type of faculty position you'd like to apply to and you are ready to start applying to faculty positions. Selling yourself is the job of your curriculum vitae and letters of recommendation. Enter keywords, locations or job types to start searching for your new science career. If the story isn't compelling you won't get hired, and if they can't quite imagine it becoming reality, you won't get hired. What is hard is finding advice you can rely on. It is a summary of your research accomplishments, current work, and future direction and potential of your work. Making A Five Year Research Plan Many academics will be asked by their institutions to produce a research plan that will take them up to the date of the next REF-style audit. Several iterations of a research plan may be necessary before it may be considered as complete. The DOC formats must be used for filling the forms. Forward and fresh thinking, an attentive and proactive attitude, and creative interaction will help the University of Helsinki to solidify its position among the foremost universities in the world. In general, research plans are weighed more heavily later in the game, with more readily comprehensible evidence (especially pedigree, letters of recommendation, impact factor of journals, etc.) How do you do this? This document will guide faculty in their developmental activities and guide the Department Chairand dean in faculty evaluations. Be specific. Researching Institutions . SAMPLE: The beginning of a plan is illustrated below; this plan is an example of what might be included for a first year assistant professor.
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