When to Apply
The Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (MSPRF) competition signals the start of the (academic) job application season. The annual MSPRF deadline for full proposal submission is usually the third Wednesday of October.
A few words on the MSPRF: The fellowship provides two years of support (which can be spread over three years with one year of teaching - a good option as you will need teaching letters for your next application). The fellowship requires a reciprocial agreement from a colleague (at the host institution) to act as your postdoctoral mentor. (Your advisor can help you identify a mentor.) Only U.S. citizens/nationals/permanent residents are eligible. (Non-citizens are eligible for regular NSF grants.)
Where to Find Jobs
- MathJobs is the main site to use to find and apply for jobs. Some tenure track job listings have deadlines as early as November 1, but that is not a hard and fast cutoff. Schools can only begin to review applications after the deadline has passed. If you have your materials uploaded before the Thanksgiving Break you should be fine.
- Academic Jobs Online may have some listings, though not often in math.
- AMS Employment Services has a number of resources for applicants including links to MathJobs, Employment Information in the Mathematical Sciences (EIMS), and Notices of the AMS.
- The Employment Center of the AMS Annual Meeting allows applicants to schedule interviews with registered schools. Schools that emphasize teaching often use this mechanism, while schools that emphasize research use it less frequently. The AMS Annual Meeting is a great way to make contact with people from both types of schools.
Advice and Resources
- AIM-MSRI workshop on Careers in Academia has collection of videos on the components of a job application.
- Notices article Tips for the Job Search: Applying for Academic and Postdoctoral Positions.
- LSU Math Department online article Finding Your First Doctoral Employment: General Advice.
- Ezra Miller's advice on the academic job search.
- Jim Nolen's advice on the academic job search.
- Philip J. Guo has great account of his academic job search in computer science with lots of excellent advice (Sections 3.3, 3.4, 4 & 5) for mathematicians.
- SIAM's Thinking of a Career in Applied Mathematics?
- Vrushali A. Bokil's advice for industry-job hunting.
- Duke Career Center has job search guides (academic and non-academic), resume tutorials, and other resources for career development.
- The Duke Career Center's Job & Internship Board, along with event registration, and individual advising appointment scheduling.
- The Graduate School's Professional Development resources.
- Duke OPTIONS. Explore the extensive professional development offerings at Duke and create a personalized plan for their professional development while in graduate school.
- The Career Guide put out by the The University of Washington Career Center has lengthy advice on preparing resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and job search strategies as well as interview prep and tips.