Welcome to Academic Careers

Planning for a succesful career in academia requires more than mastering a disciplinary subfield. You will be working as a colleague within an institutional setting that has its own norms, expectations, and requirements. In this section of Career Success you can:

  • use the academic career matrix to learn more about those expectations, about additional skills that can help you establish yourself as an independent researcher and as a collaborative member of your professional community, and about the tools you need to become an effective mentor for your students and future colleagues. If you have a Career Success account, you can save workshops and resources that you might want to return to.
  • link to e-courses that can help you develop your conflict management (through MSU's nationally recognized Conflict Resolution program) and teaching skills (through MSU subscription only access to teaching courses developed by Epigeum, a leading publisher of online classes for higher education professionals).
  • learn more about the NSF-funded CAFFE program for STEM graduate students.

Academic Careers Matrix

You know you need to develop disciplinary expertise. What are the other essential skill areas you need to be aware of and develop to prepare you for an academic career? Explore resources and events related to areas under each theme. If you are logged in to a Career Success account, you can save items to your "My Academic Careers" list.

  Planning Resilience Engagement Professionalism
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Online Resources Academic

Click an item below to learn more about the online resources available.

TECHE: Teaching Essentials for Careers in Higher Education

This set of eight online courses is focused on research and practice in effective college teaching. Featuring international experts on education in a range of disciplines, they offer theory, practical exercises, reflection, and resources for everyone from new instructors to practiced professors. They include video instruction and an extensive list of additional reading. These courses can be taken at any time and in any setting. You can follow a course straight through, or select the course modules most useful to you.

These modules were developed by experts in teaching in higher education. They were produced by Epigeum, one of the leading publishers of online courses for higher education professionals. The copyrighted material is licensed for use by those who are affiliated with Michigan State University.

The TECHE courses are available on Desire2Learn:

  1. Log in on d2l.msu.edu.
  2. Click on “Self Registration” in the upper right of your home page.
  3. Select “Teaching Essentials for Careers in Higher Education (Epigeum).”
  4. Submit the registration information.
  5. The course should now appear on how home page under “TeachingLearning.”
  6. Once you click on the course, the separate courses should appear under your content browser.
  7. While you are in any of the courses, the modules for all of the courses appear in the “Content Map” on the left of the page.
  8. You can also return to your full list of course titles on the “course home” page; hit the “home” icon under the Content Browser bar.

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Conflict Resolution

Our program provides a focused and effective method to improve the very critical interactions between graduate students and faculty in order to improve doctoral student retention rates and the quality of graduate education and to effectively resolve conflicts when they arise.

Topics include:

  • learning interest-based approaches and skills for negotiation and conflict resolution;
  • discussions, using video vignettes as conversation triggers, about the specific areas of possible conflict and differing expectation within their discipline, or more broadly in graduate education generally; and
  • using interest-based negotiation approaches and skills to establish collectively agreed-upon departmental understandings of mutual expectations and responsibilities.

Faculty and graduate student versions of the workshop are available here. For a list of face-to-face sessions visit the Career Success events pages, or click on "Negotiation and Conflict Management" in the Academic Career menu or "Conflict Resolution" in the PREP matrix.

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Research and Scholarly Integrity 

Research and Scholarly IntegrityMSU has partnered with other Michigan and International Universities to support the development of five on-line courses through Epigeum addressing Research Integrity from the perspective of individuals in Natural & Physical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Engineering & Technology. Topics covered include a general introduction to research integrity, data management, assignment of authorship, the mentor-mentee relationship, conflicts of interest, the publication process, and issues relating to human subjects, peer review, publication, and responsibilities to society.

 You can register for and access these courses through ANGEL.

  1. Log On to Angel at angel.msu.edu.
  2. Click on "Find a Group" under "My Angel Groups." Enter" Research and Scholarly Integrity" in the search field and click on Search. Research and Scholarly Integrity should appear on the search result. 
  3. Click "Enroll by PIN." On the pop-up window, enter the PIN "SPARTY". 
  4. Click Subscribe.
  5. Return to the ANGEL homepage.; The group Research and Scholarly Integrity will be listed under your ANGEL Groups.

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CAFFE

What is CAFFE?The Center for Academic and Future Faculty Excellence (CAFFE) is the product of an I3 award to MSU from the National Science Foundation. The goal of CAFFE is to provide the necessary tools to generate individual development plans for graduate students and postdocs preparing for academic careers. These plans emerge as faculty advisors engage in “parallel mentoring”, which refers to the concurrent attention to discipline-specific research training and professional preparation for academic careers.

To learn more about NSF CAFFE, visit grad.msu.edu/caffe.

PhDs have a lot of options when it comes to career paths, which can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. In order to prepare for career paths that best match your skills and interests, it’s worthwhile to take some time to explore the wide variety of options available to you. This is the purpose of the Career Exploration section of the PhD Career Services site.

In Career Exploration you will find the following topics: