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Overcoming Difficulties in Research Statement Preparation for the Academic Job Search: Expansion of a Peer-Focused Professional Development Program

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28727

Download Count

420

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Paper Authors

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Kaitlin I Tyler University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-5052-4262

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Kaitlin received her BS in Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in biomaterials from Michigan State University in 2012. She is currently working on her PhD at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign under Professor Paul Braun. Her research focuses on manipulating eutectic material microstructures for optical applications. She is also one of the co-coordinators for Girls Learning About Materials (GLAM), a summer camp for high school girls interested in engineering.

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Yanfen Li University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Yanfen Li is a Ph.D student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working under Dr. Kris Kilian. Her research focus is on biomaterials and tissue engineering.

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Nicole D. Jackson University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Nicole D. Jackson is a third-year PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and is a member of Megan Konar's group. Her research focuses on applying big data to understand the food-water nexus to promote food security. Also, she is currently a co-coordinator for the Illinois Female Engineers in Academia Training program as well as the Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science camp for environmental engineering and sustainability.

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Wan-Ting Chen University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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Wan-Ting Chen obtains her Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wan-Ting received her B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the National Taiwan University and M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Illinois. Wan-Ting’s research work has been in the context of developing a synergistically integrated waste-to-energy system, Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2-Energy), that simultaneously produces biofuel, treats wet biowaste and captures carbon dioxide via algae growing and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). Wan-Ting’s ongoing work focuses on upgrading of the HTL biocrude oil converted from wet biowaste into transportation fuels by distillation, esterification, thermal cracking, and hydroprocessing with catalysts. Wan-Ting has been a SWE member since 2012 and is aiming for a future career in academia.

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Chaoyang Liu University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Rohit Bhargava University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Rohit Bhargava is Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with affiliations in several departments (Primary – Bioengineering: Affiliated - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry) as well as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Rohit received dual B.Tech. degrees (in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science and Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 1996 and his doctoral thesis work at Case Western Reserve University (Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering) was in the area of polymer spectroscopy. He then worked as a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (2000-2005) in the area of biomedical vibrational spectroscopy. Rohit has been at Illinois since as Assistant Professor (2005-2011), Associate Professor (2011-2012) and Professor (2012-). He was the first assistant professor hired into the new Bioengineering department and played a key role in the development of its curriculum and activities. He later founded and serves as the coordinator of the Cancer Community@Illinois, which is to become a unique technology-focused cancer center. Research in the Bhargava laboratories focuses on fundamental theory and simulation for vibrational spectroscopic imaging, developing new instrumentation and developing chemical imaging for molecular pathology. Using 3D printing and engineered tumor models, recent research seeks to elucidate hetero-cellular interactions in cancer progression. Rohit’s work has been recognized with several research awards nationally. Among recent honors are the Agilent Thought Leader Award (2016), election as fellow of AIMBE and SAS (2015), Meggers Award (Society for applied spectroscopy, 2014), Craver Award (Coblentz Society, 2013) and the FACSS Innovation Award (2012). Rohit has also been recognized for his dedication to teaching in the College of Engineering (Rose and Everitt awards) and he is routinely nominated to the list of teachers ranked excellent at Illinois.

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Abstract

According to data from ASEE, women were awarded 23.1% of engineering doctoral degrees and held 15.7% of tenured/tenure-track faculty positions in 2015 versus 21.3% and 12.7% in 2009, respectively 1,2. This slight increase over six years is encouraging but also serves to highlight the continuing paucity of female engineering faculty. The causes are multifaceted, including a perceived lack of academic work-life balance, a diminished self-confidence after a PhD, and a lack of existing role models. To combat this problem, graduate students and faculty at a large public university started a multi-month professional development program designed to strengthen the preparation of prospective female faculty candidates. The main goal of the program is to address the gender gap in engineering academia by knowledge dissemination in a collaborative community. We strive to provide information to our participants through seminars and panel discussions, followed by peer review groups to share and review application materials. This is the third iteration of the program and significant changes have been made to further increase its efficacy. One major development is expanding the research statement segment of our programming. In this paper, we examine the effectiveness of this new structure and explore in further detail how to successfully break down the research statement writing process into tangible segments. Lastly, we explore the differences between the two structures and make preliminary comments on the success of our program’s expansion.

Tyler, K. I., & Li, Y., & Jackson, N. D., & Chen, W., & Liu, C., & Bhargava, R. (2017, June), Overcoming Difficulties in Research Statement Preparation for the Academic Job Search: Expansion of a Peer-Focused Professional Development Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28727

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