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Academic Career Conference

Academic Career Conference

The Academic Career Conference for 2017 has concluded. For 2018 updated information will be posted 2 months prior to the conference

Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Time: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Location: Science Teaching Complex

                     University of Waterloo

                     200 University Avenue West

                     Waterloo, ON

Free full-day conference to better prepare you for the academic work search, including document and interview preparation as well as advice and insights from faculty members.

  • Open to PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Lunch provided.

Please note: This is an all-day event. Registrants must plan to attend every session.  


8:30am to 9:00am

Registration & Coffee

9:00am to 9:15am

Welcome and Introduction

9:15am to 10:15am

Keynote: Jeff Casello, Associate Provost, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs

10:15am to 10:30am


10:30am to 12:00pm

Concurrent Workshops

  • Statements of Teaching Philosophy
  • Research Statements

12:00pm to 1:00pm


1:00pm to


Concurrent Workshops

  • Cover Letters and CVs
  • Academic Interviews

2:30pm to 2:45pm


2:45pm to 4:15pm

Faculty Perspectives on the Hiring Process

  • STEM
  • Social/Health Sciences & Humanities

4:15pm to 4:30pm

Closing remarks

Program Description

Workshop: Statements of Teaching Philosophy

Facilitator: Tommy Mayberry, Instructional Developer, Centre for Teaching Excellence

Since most job candidates are asked to provide a "teaching statement" or a "statement of teaching philosophy" when applying for academic positions, it’s essential to understand what makes these documents effective. In this workshop, we’ll walk through the components of successful teaching statements and use hands-on activities to help you brainstorm ideas for communicating your own teaching philosophy to hiring committees.

Workshop: Research Statements

Facilitator: Nadine Fladd, Writing and Multimodal Communication Specialist, Writing and Communication Centre

Postings for tenure-track academic positions often require a “research statement” or “statement of research interests” in addition to a CV, cover letter, and teaching dossier. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn and apply strategies for developing a compelling, cohesive research statement that is also realistic and written in an accessible style.

Workshop: Cover Letters and CVs

Facilitator: Kira Bruschke, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action

Typically, members of the hiring committee will evaluate your cover letter and CV before deciding to review the rest of your application, so it’s very important to make a strong first impression as a promising researcher/teacher. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to write a professional and compelling cover letter as well as how to prepare an effective curriculum vitae for academic positions.

Workshop: Academic Interviews

Facilitator: Erica Refling, Graduate Career Advisor, Centre for Career Action

The key to success in an academic interview is preparation – don’t wait until you’ve been selected as a top candidate to start thinking about this phase of the hiring process. In this interactive workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your performance in an academic job interview by discussing typical scheduled activities for the day and learning strategies for anticipating and answering interview questions.

Panel: Faculty Perspectives on the Hiring Process (STEM)


Dan Brown, Professor, Computer Science & Director, Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Brown is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, where he has been a faculty member since 2000.  Dan earned his degrees at MIT and Cornell.  Before coming to Waterloo, he spent a year working on the Human and Mouse Genome Projects as a post-doc at the MIT Center for Genome Research.  Dan's primary research interests are designing algorithms for understanding biological evolution, applying bioinformatics ideas to problems in music information retrieval, and the development of creative computer algorithms.  In addition to his research career, Dan serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies for his unit and is on the executive of Waterloo’s Faculty Association.

Monica Maly, Associate Professor, Kinesiology

​Dr. Maly is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, where she is the Director of the Mobilize Clinical Biomechanics Lab. Her research program focuses on developing biomechanically-sound physical activity guidelines for adults with the most common forms of arthritis that are associated with aging. She uses biomechanical methods to evaluate the impact of physical activity on joint health, with an aim to develop guidelines for physical activity that promote health and productivity, while minimizing the risk for arthritis progression. 

Gordon Stubley, Professor, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering & Associate Dean, Teaching

Gordon Stubley is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and is the Associate Dean, Teaching in Engineering. His research interests are in computational fluid dynamics, adaptive meshing technology, engineering fluid mechanics, and, more recently, in engineering education. Professor Stubley teaches several upper year Mechanical and Mechatronics fluid mechanics engineering courses. He also works extensively with engineering faculty members to improve teaching and learning effectiveness in Engineering. He is a committed engineering educator and speaks regularly on campus and at conferences on topics in engineering education.

Panel: Faculty Perspectives on the Hiring Process (Social/Health Sciences & Humanities)


David DeVidi, Professor and Department Chair, Philosophy

David DeVidi is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy. His primary research specialization is in logic and the philosophy of mathematics, but he also writes on issues related to disability, developing ideas based on twenty years of work as volunteer.  During his term as Chair, Waterloo Philosophy has launched a new PhD program in Applied Philosophy which is unique in Canada, become home to the Women’s Studies and Cognitive Science programs, and implemented many best practices for equity and diversity in hiring of faculty members. He is a former President of the Faculty Association and chaired the University’s task force investigating work/life balance issues for faculty members in 2012-13. He was the inaugural winner of the Status of Women and Equity Committee’s Equity and Inclusivity Award in 2012, and the University’s Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision in 2016.

Sue Horton, Professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems & CIGI Chair in Global Health Economics

Dr. Horton is a Professor within the School of Public Health and Health Systems and CIGI (Centre for International ‎Governance Initiatives) Chair in Global Health Economics. Her current research focuses on economic aspects of health and nutrition, including cost-effectiveness, cost, and prioritization of interventions of many kinds. She has worked in over 20 developing countries, and has consulted for the World Bank, several United Nations agencies, and the International Development Research Centre, among others.

Sarah Wilkins-LaFlamme, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Legal Studies

Dr. Wilkins-Laflamme is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies. She joined the department in 2015 after completing her PhD at the University of Oxford in the UK. Her research focuses on national and temporal trends in religious identities and behaviour, and how various aspects of religion influence individual social attitudes and action. In addition to her research, Dr. Wilkins-Laflamme also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on research methods, statistics, and the sociology of religion.

Registration opens September 26, 2017!