Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Future Faculty and Academic Careers office?

Programs from the Cornell Graduate School’s Future Faculty and Academic Careers office prepare graduate students and postdoctoral scholars for academic careers through emphasis on three key areas. These areas are shared with the North American CIRTL Network, of which Cornell is a member:

  1. evidence-based practice of teaching (Teaching as Research), which includes planning how to assess learning outcomes
  2. inclusive teaching and learning environments (Learning through Diversity)
  3. effective mentorship of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs

Although some CIRTL Network programs focus on natural and social sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and are funded by the National Science Foundation, Future Faculty and Academic Careers serves graduate students and postdocs in all fields, as part of the Cornell University Graduate School’s commitment to professional development.

What is the CIRTL Network?

The mission of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers. As a member institution of the North American CIRTL Network since 2012, Cornell is part of a group of more than 40 research universities who collaborate to offer future faculty preparation locally and online. You can learn more about the network and view the current list of participating institutions at the CIRTL website.

How is Future Faculty and Academic Careers structured?

Future Faculty and Academic Careers is housed in the Graduate School, where Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education Kathryn Boor serves as the Institutional Leader, and Associate Dean for Professional Development Colleen McLinn oversees day-to-day operations as the Administrative Co-Leader. Please see our Leadership page for more about advisory committee structure for Graduate School professional and career development efforts, and bios of other staff.

What kinds of programs does Future Faculty and Academic Careers offer?

Future Faculty and Academic Careers provides both in-person and online professional development and networking opportunities for future faculty. On campus, we host coursesprograms, and institutes and also coordinate participation in online opportunities through the CIRTL Network. Topics include creating inclusive teaching and research environments, improving and documenting teaching and mentorship skills, and strategies and application process for an academic job search.

Who can participate in these programs?

Future Faculty and Academic Careers programs are open to all members of the Cornell community, but the focus audience is doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars. The CIRTL Network is also increasingly offering opportunities for early career alumni who have left Cornell through the CIRTL Alumni Network.

Can participants visit other CIRTL Network schools?

As part of the CIRTL Network, Future Faculty and Academic Careers participants are encouraged to participate in cross-network programming including a CIRTL Network Exchange visit program and the CIRTL Network Teaching Institutes. Both programs provide the opportunity to travel to another university in the CIRTL Network for networking and professional development.

Did the office change its name?

Yes! From 2012-2020, we were known as CU-CIRTL or CIRTL at Cornell, as we launched a local Cornell University program as part of this originally NSF-funded North American future faculty preparation effort. (Don’t worry, we still participate in the CIRTL Network and provide free institutional membership to current scholars and recent alumni.) In 2020, we renamed the office to the Graduate School’s Future Faculty and Academic Careers office to more intuitively describe its mission, and emphasize our availability to doctoral scholars and postdocs in all disciplinary areas. (This coincided with Graduate School goals to strengthen preparation for all types of careers, through which the NIH BEST program was also institutionalized and renamed to the Graduate School’s Careers Beyond Academia office. Learn more about Graduate School Career and Professional Development offices here.)

How does Future Faculty and Academic Careers differ from the Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI)?

Although Future Faculty and Academic Careers offers some teaching-related programming in collaboration with and additionally to that of CTI, the focus audiences and missions of the units differ slightly. The Graduate School’s Future Faculty and Academic Careers office specializes in career exploration and development programming designed for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars preparing to go on to faculty and academic careers in a wide range of settings. Research and extension associates and visiting scholars who identify as postdoctoral scholars are also welcome to participate. Much of the programming centers around identity formation, development and pursuit of career interests, and preparation for successful transition to a faculty or academic position after leaving Cornell. CTI offers programming for domestic and international teaching assistants, postdoctoral scholars, current faculty including lecturers, and anyone else involved in teaching undergraduate courses at Cornell, with an emphasis on supporting innovation in undergraduate teaching across Cornell University.

Where can I learn more about Future Faculty and Academic Careers resources and events?

For more information about resources and events, visit the events calendar and the programs page.

For all other questions not answered here, please Contact Us.