Preparing for an academic interview – a survey (Part I)

EMBL recently organised the conference ‘The Next Generation in Infection Biology’ to provide a platform for late-stage postdoctoral scientists to showcase their work and connect with leading European faculty hiring institutions in infection biology.

To complement the cutting-edge science presented and networking sessions, the EMBL Fellows’ Career Service organised a session focused on the academic job market. We aimed to bring some clarity about the hiring process and what is needed to secure a faculty position. We invited 4 principal investigators (PIs) from France, Spain, Malta and the Netherlands to participate in a panel discussion and share their expectations when interviewing candidates. To animate the discussion, we also presented the results of a short anonymous survey we had completed with other PIs. The survey included questions related to the most common uncertainties postdocs share with us when they are preparing to apply for PI roles. Twenty faculty members responded, 6 of whom have been involved in search committees for more than 10 years. Further survey responses are welcome!

This blog post focuses on the conclusions we drew from the survey responses and related data, and also provides a set of key resources for navigating the early stages of the job application process. A summary of the panel discussion will be provided in an upcoming second post.

Continue reading “Preparing for an academic interview – a survey (Part I)”

Informational interviews: 5 tips for effective career conversations

“Informational interviews” are one of the best tools to get insights into different career areas. They are informal 15-30 minute conversations with individuals working in a career area that interests you. The aim is to learn more about the career area, particularly to get first hand and up-to-date information that can help you better understand whether the career is for you, and how to get your first role in that field. However, as the following video, “The Informational Interview and how to do it well” from the Stanford Design Lab’s Online Course  – Designing Your Career, explains – an informational interview isn’t a job interview, and should not be about directly finding a job. Continue reading “Informational interviews: 5 tips for effective career conversations”