Launching and Navigating an Academic Career

A free 2-day short course for senior PhD students, postdocs, and early-career faculty.

Date: April 29 & 30, 2021 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (GMT-6)

Location: Virtual; registered participants will receive an email with details.

Registration: Eventbrite, free of charge

Description: The course is designed for Ph.D. students, postdocs, and early-career faculty at the University of Saskatchewan and beyond. It is meant to demystify the academic career and provide examples of key things to consider early in one’s career to increase the chances of success and fun along the way.

The course is based largely on the recent book: McDonnell, J.J., 2020. Navigating an Academic Career: A Brief Guide for Ph.D. Students, Postdocs and New Faculty. AGU/Wiley, 96p, ISBN: 1119642108.


Course instructors:

Dr. Jeffrey McDonnell is Professor of Hydrology in the School of Environment and Sustainability and Associate Director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan. https://water.usask.ca/hillslope/

Dr. Maureen Reed is a Distinguished Professor and Assistant Director in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. She holds a UNESCO Chair in Biocultural Diversity, Sustainability, Reconciliation and Renewal. https://research-groups.usask.ca/reed/profiles/maureen-reed.php#DrMaureenGReed


Course text:

We encourage all participants to read this (about a 1-hr total reading time): McDonnell, J.J., 2020. Navigating an Academic Career: A Brief Guide for PhD Students, Postdocs and New Faculty. Wiley/AGU, 96p. (available in print or e-book form through Wiley.com; Amazon or any online book seller)


Lecture and discussion topics:

  • Attributes of successful researchers
  • Communicating your work (the elevator pitch, papers, proposals)
  • Applying to academic jobs and the academic job interview
  • The first few years as a faculty member: what it’s like; some strategies

Registration: Registration is limited to 100 participants and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that the course regularly sells out so early registration is encouraged. Please register via Eventbrite. This event is open to those outside of the USask community.

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