ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellows Look Ahead
DCF Fellows: front row, Jennifer Lambe (Yale University), Heather Lee (Brown University); back row, Kevin Whalen (University of California, Riverside), Aaron Sullivan (Temple University), Andrew Kahrl (Marquette University), Elizabeth Hennessy (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Priscilla Leiva (University of Southern California)
The fourth iteration of the “Preparing for the Academic Job Market” seminar took place September 5-7 in San Antonio, TX. The seminar is a critical component of the ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship program, which supports the last year of dissertation writing. The three-day seminar allows a select group of the year’s fellowship recipients to gain valuable insight into the mechanisms of the academic job market in anticipation of the hiring season.
Launched by Nicole Stahlmann, ACLS’s director of fellowship programs, with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the seminar provides the DCF Fellows with a well-rounded understanding of all stages of the application process through a combination of small group work and panel discussions. Under the guidance of five accomplished academics from a range of institutions, seminar attendees participate in cover letter and curriculum vitae review; prepare for interviews and campus visits; discuss job application strategies; and practice job talks.
The benefits of the seminar’s group work model extend beyond the meeting days. In bringing the cohort of Dissertation Completion Fellows together, the seminar establishes a network of scholars at the same career stage that crosses disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Moreover, many participants of the 2013 seminar report that they continue to collaborate with each other as they begin to apply for positions. Prior seminar participants who successfully secured tenure-track positions and postdoctoral fellowships often attribute their achievements, in part, to their participation in the seminar. “I am not exaggerating when I say that without the job preparation workshop, there is a good chance I would not have a job today,” said one.
ACLS wishes the 2014 DCF Fellows much success in their search for academic positions during the current job season, and in completing their dissertations.