Pathway to the Professoriate

The Pathway to the Professoriate program helps students and postdocs learn more about the pathway to an academic career and develop skills that they will need to get there.  Past topics have included selecting a postdoc, keys to a successful faculty application, the tenure process, and mentoring.  Is there a particular step in the academic career path you would like to hear more about?  Contact Pam Carpentier.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events scheduled at this time.  There are plans to run an academic job series in the spring.

Recent Events

This is a sampling of previous events run in this series.  If you are interested in hearing about one of these topics, or suggesting a new one, please contact Pam Carpentier.

Thinking Ahead:  How to Prepare Yourself for an Acaemic Job Search

We will discuss things you can think about now as graduate students and postdocs to help you prepare to be a competitive candidate for faculty positions.  We will consider issues such as the types of institutions you can consider and how what they are looking for differ, how to choose a postdoc to help you achieve your goals, and searching for and securing fellowship and career development awards.

Faculty Application Packages

We will start with a brief introduction to the components of a job application package from Elysse Longiotti at Northwestern Career Advancement.  We will then move into a panel of faculty members discussing their own experiences on academic job searching and/or search committees.  

Academic Interviews

We will start with a brief introduction by Elysse Longiotti from Northwestern Career Advancement.  Our panel discussion will include Jorge Cantú, Assistant Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, Lou Laimins, Professor and Chair of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern, and Marc Mendillo, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern.  We will discuss what to expect on an academic interview and how to make yourself standout. 

Negoatiations and Start Up Packages

We will be joined by Dr. Monica Laronda (Assistant Professor, Pediatrics), Dr. Hank Seifert (Professor, Microbiology-Immunology and Associate Dean of Student Affairs at The Graduate School), and Dr. Robin Rylaarsdam (Professor of Biology and Acting Dean of the College of Sciences at Benedictine University).  They will discuss what to expect, what to negotiate, and how to negotiate.  

Finding a Postdoctoral Position

Join Drs Oriana Fisher (Postdoc, Rosenzweig Lab), Erica Hartmann (Assistant Professor, CEE) and Andrew Stephens (Postdoc, Marko Lab) as they discuss how they identified potential post-doctoral labs, interviewed and advice for choosing a post-doctoral position that can lead to successfully obtaining a faculty position.  Please RSVP to Deborah Klos Dehring ( if you are planning to attend.

Insights from a Successful Job Search

Some of Northwestern’s newest faculty, Gemma Carvill (Neurology), Paul DeCaen (Pharmacology), and Alicia Guemez Gamboa (Physiology) will discuss their recent experiences on the academic job market.

Breaking into Academia

A panel of new faculty and experienced faculty that have served on search committees.

Choosing a Postdoc

Kristen Mighty from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will discuss what to ask in an interview, what to look for, and how to get your best offer.  We will then be joined by Northwestern faculty Brian Mitchell, Marc Mendillo, and Marie-Pier Tetreault along with current postdoctoral fellow Dean Procter to talk about how they chose their postdocs and how their postdocs helped them along in their careers.

Dr. Stephanie Watowich

Dr. Watowich will be here for a career discussion on faculty positions at an NIH-designated comprehensive cancer center.  Dr. Watowich has experiences in teaching, administrative positions in education, and has been recognized for excellence in teaching.  She is currently the Co-Director for the Center for Inflammation and Cancer.  Her lab primarily focuses on basic immunology cancer research.

Teaching at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions

Dr. Janice Pellino (Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Carthage College) and Dr. Barbara Sisson (Assistant Professor of Biology, Ripon College) will discuss how they got to their current positions and what kind of experiences were beneficial to preparing them for a career in teaching.  They will describe the differences between teaching at a PUI from a Research I University, the importance of teaching statements in the application, and conducting research with only undergraduate researchers. 

Work-Life Balance in Academia

Come join current Norhtwestern faculty CJ Heckman, Danielle Maatouk, Margrit Urbanek, and Derek Wainwright as they discuss how they balance their personal lives with their careers as faculty member.

Research Faculty Positions

Come meet current research faculty and current tenure-track professors that have transitioned from research faculty positions.  They will discuss their experiences, their career paths, and give advice to current students/postdocs.