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Skills To Learn As An Assistant Professor

Skills to learn as an assistant professor

The step from PhD or postdoc to assistant professor is a big step, so without perhaps being fully aware of it, assistant professors gather a whole new set of skills.

I made an overview in this list:

  1. Teaching and pedagogy: Developing effective teaching methods, designing courses, and assessing student learning are crucial aspects of being a professor.
  2. Curriculum development: Creating and refining course materials, syllabi, and assessments to meet the learning objectives and needs of students.
  3. Classroom management: Managing diverse classrooms, handling disruptions, and fostering a positive learning environment.
  4. Mentoring and advising: Guiding graduate and undergraduate students in research, career development, and academic pursuits.
  5. Developing a research program: Creating a comprehensive research agenda and securing funding to support research projects.
  6. Time management and prioritization: Balancing teaching, research, administrative duties, and personal responsibilities effectively.
  7. Conflict resolution and communication skills: Dealing with conflicts among colleagues (fighting for lab space), students, or within the department, and effective communication in various contexts.
  8. Ethics and integrity: Understanding and upholding ethical standards in research, teaching, and professional conduct.
  9. Budgeting: Managing research budgets, understanding overhead and other quirks, allocating resources efficiently, and making financial decisions.
  10. Departmental politics and administration: Navigating the administrative structure, understanding departmental policies, and participating in decision-making processes.
  11. Continued professional development: Developing a strategy for ongoing learning and skill-building to stay current in your field.
  12. Providing service to the profession: Contributing to committees, task forces, and other professional activities that support the profession.
  13. Public engagement: Communicating research to the public, engaging with community stakeholders, and participating in outreach activities.
  14. Institutional service: Contributing to committees, task forces, and other institutional activities that support the mission of the university.
  15. Navigating the requirements of the tenure track: Understanding and meeting the specific criteria and expectations for tenure at your institution.

What do you say? Which are the new things you learned as an assistant professor?

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