Blogs

If you build it, will they come? Reflections on working with undergraduate researchers

by Nathaniel Grove

It has now been a little over three years since I accepted my current position at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  It was a time filled with great excitement, and concurrently, great stress and anxiety.  One of my recurring nightmares involved research: sure, I had all of these big ideas – and perhaps even a notion or two about how to pursue them – but would anyone actually be interested in working with me to help execute those plans?  Three years later, it has been gratifying to see many of my fears allayed, but the build up of my research group certainly wasn’t something that happened overnight, and in the process, I have come to rely heavily on the involvement of undergraduate researchers.  Although many of us are passionate about undergraduate education and are equally keen to involve undergraduate students in our research, it has been my experience that as a group, undergraduates have very different research needs and goals than their graduate student counterparts.  What I offer below are some reflections on my experiences working with undergraduate research students.

Using Chemistry Education Research in a Teaching-Centered Position

by Seth Anthony

I'm going to start out with an odd statement for a blog aimed towards a community of chemistry education researchers: I've never loved research. Liked it, sure. But it’s never gotten me up in the morning excited to go to work.

Teaching is what gets me up in the morning, and even before I started graduate school in CER, I wanted to pursue a position centered around teaching, not research. But during my first year-and-a-half as a faculty member at a teaching-oriented, primarily undergraduate institution, I’ve found that my training in CER impacts much more of my job than I expected.

10 Tips for a Successful Academic Job Search

by Dr. LaKeisha McClary

I have been fortunate to complete within one calendar year an academic job search and sit on the other side to hire a new colleague. Mentors prepared me well for my successful academic job, but I know that not everyone is fortunate to have advisers and friends in the academy keep it real. So, I was excited to be asked to write a blog post on job searches. Since my only interest was in academic positions, I will limit myself within those boundaries. I present 10 tips for a successful academic job search.

Networking

by Megan Grunert

When I was first approached about doing a blog post on networking, I laughed a little inside. I have always struggled with networking, knowing that it is a valuable skill yet feeling entirely incompetent. What I offer here are my thoughts on what I’ve done well, what I’ve done poorly, and what I’ve learned along the way. I won’t reiterate the value of networking, because I think we all know it is a necessary skill that has the potential to provide tremendous career opportunities (but I’m happy to field questions about this and anything else you see here!).

A New Venue for Younger Chemistry Education Scholars to Turn for Advice

By Kimberly Linenberger

With the beginning of a new year and a new semester the Younger Chemistry Education Scholars Task Force decided this was the best time to roll out the new blog. As Chair of the YCES Task Force, I was asked to make the inaugural post to welcome one and all to the site!

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