This week TNP is doing a series of posts revolving around the academic job market with the help of some experienced guest contributors. Today’s post is all about funding – whether it be for your own research or a post-doc position.
1. Numerous people have recommended applying for small grants to support research and get labs started. Should I apply for these grants now, or wait until I am hired on at a university? What are some funding agencies and grants that support research at undergraduate focused institutions?
Kameko Halfmann: I have relied on in-house grants for funding at this point, and it has been enough for me so far! If you have a strong sense of what you would use funding for and you need funding for your research, I would absolutely try to seek out funding beforehand. You may be able to find in-house grants that you can apply for once you have the position. Search the institution website for their office of research or grants/funding.
NIH-AREA Grants and NSF-RUI/ROA grants are for research as primarily undergrad institutions. I have not applied to these but they are on my radar and I would like to apply for one of these in the future to help pay student researchers.
Also, make sure to negotiate for start-up funding to help you get started!
Jennifer Talarico: Grants are always welcome, but they’re rarely (if ever) required as a new faculty member. If your research has high costs, it is helpful to show that you have a history of obtaining funding or at least know where/how you intend to request funding. Once you are at a PUI, there are some funding opportunities that become available to you, but you wouldn’t have access to those as someone who is only interested in those types of positions. Wait until you are hired and then reach out to the grants administrator, dean of research, or other, similar administrators at the institution and they can help guide you to appropriate funding sources.
2. There are numerous mechanisms for funding postdoc fellowships, but are there any agencies that fund proposals for teaching postdocs? Many of the teaching postdoc positions I have found are STEM oriented, and all are for specific positions at a specific university. Is there a funding mechanism that supports proposals for teaching postdocs, rather than research postdocs?
Kameko: I’m not entirely sure, but in my search I got the impression that these teaching postdocs were fizzling out. I attempted to find teaching postdocs but was largely unsuccessful. However, I ended up spending two years in a visiting position at an institution that used to be a teaching post doc. They told me that they switched from teaching post doc to visiting for the positions because they could offer a higher salary to a visiting faculty member.
Jennifer: My understanding is that teaching post-docs arose as way to provide teaching experience to those who did not traditionally acquire it via graduate training (hence the STEM emphasis over Humanities and Social Sciences) and were positioned as an alternative to traditional research-oriented post-docs (which are also more common in STEM). I don’t know of any “generic” teaching post-docs, but more and more institutions are sponsoring them, so I would look to well-funded PUIs (Primarily Undergraduate Institutions) and contact departments and/or Centers for Teaching & Learning at those institutions to see what’s available.
Jake Kurczek: This is a list of websites to help you find post-docs and post-doc funding. It is likely out of date because I gathered this while looking for post-docs. I include research postdocs on here because you can often communicate with a post-doc advisor and find an opportunity to teach within the department.
National Postdoc Association
Entering Job Market
Small Pond Science - Targeted towards the move to liberal arts
NIH Loan Repayment - Apply for loan repayment while working as a post-doc
Escaping the Ivory Tower
Search for jobs/positions:
APA Post-Doc Exchange
NIH Project Reporter - search for T32s granted in last 2 years
NINDS T32 Fellowships - Other sections grant T32s great place to start
Duke Center for Decision Science
OHSU Psychology Residency
NC-State Faculty Diversity
Consortium for Faculty Diversity
Berkeley Diversity Fellowship
Hopefully this post leaves you motivated to find and apply for potential funding opportunities! Good luck! Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
Special thanks to our four Q&A contributors for taking the time to provide thoughtful responses:
Kameko Halfmann (@KamekoMae): Kameko is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Wisconsin – Plattville.
Jennifer Talarico (@j_talarico): Jennifer is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Lafayette College.
Jake Kurczek (@EngagedBrain): Jake is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Loras College.