Career transitions for faculty members committed to undergraduate neuroscience education

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This article highlights some of the critical issues that were discussed during a breakout session on career transitions at the 2014 Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Workshop at Ithaca College on Undergraduate Neuroscience Education: Challenges and Solutions in Creating and Sustaining Programs. Topics included: (1) transitioning from graduate school or a postdoc position to an assistant professor position; (2) preparing for promotion and tenure decisions; (3) balancing teaching, research, and service during a career in academics; (4) exploring alternative career options, including moving to another institution, taking on an administrative position, and working in industry; and (5) deciding when and how to retire. Much of the discussion focused on special challenges that women and minorities face in the academic environment. Participants offered valuable insights and suggestions for helping new faculty members prepare for reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions, including utilizing networking connections within FUN for letters of support and collaborative opportunities. These networking opportunities were also valued by participants who were in rather unique positions, such as transitioning from a purely administrative role back to a regular faculty position or handling the extra burden of being a chair or program director with essentially the same research and grant-writing expectations of a regular faculty member. The session proved to be enlightening for most participants and though several questions and concerns remained unanswered, several ideas and insights were shared by the participants and a sense of empathy for the unique circumstances many of the participants were experiencing provided an atmosphere of comradery and support that often emanates from these FUN workshop sessions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A155-A159
JournalJournal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • And retirement decisions
  • Career development
  • Gender equality
  • Retention and reappointment
  • Tenure criteria
  • Transitioning to leadership and administrative positions


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