We would like every applicant to have access to the conventions and expectations that we will apply during our review process. Please review the information on this page to learn more about the Biology Department at Colgate University and what we are looking for in your application materials.
For our tenure-track position in molecular biology, we are asking for a cover letter, your curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts, the names of three references, a teaching statement, a research statement, and a statement on engagement with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Your cover letter should introduce yourself as a scholar and as a teacher. It should be 1-2 pages single-spaced. Your cover letter should briefly introduce us to your research area and teaching interests/background. Additionally, your cover letter should connect your approaches to teaching and scholarship to a predominantly undergraduate liberal arts environment. The goal of the cover letter is to spotlight the most significant aspects of your work, so that we understand your career thus far as you see it, and how you see yourself connecting with our advertised position here at Colgate.
Your CV should list all of your education and any academic appointments you have held, with dates, as well as your publications. If you have held non-academic positions that you consider relevant or that might help us to understand your intellectual trajectory, feel free to include them, but don’t feel obligated. For publications, please include any works in progress that you have started drafting. You are welcome to include significant conference presentations as well. If your publications include student co-authors you have mentored, it can be helpful to indicate those. Also, we would appreciate a list of any classes you have taught, with instructor of record vs. teaching assistant clearly indicated. At the end of your CV, please list the names of your recommenders, including their titles, institutions, and email addresses.
Names of References
At the initial application, we don’t need reference letters, but we would like the names of your recommenders at the end of your CV, as described above, and in the appropriate section on the Interfolio application. If we would like to see letters, we’ll contact you, so that you can request them from your references. We do recommend that you ask your recommenders to draft their reference letters, so that the turnaround time for requests can be quick.
Typically your statement will be 2 - 3 pages, single-spaced. We’re looking for evidence that you have thought deeply about teaching and are committed to being a successful teacher and mentor at a predominantly undergraduate small liberal arts college. You can provide this evidence by addressing some of the following questions. You should not feel compelled to address all of the questions.
- What are your goals for students? You might pick a course and explain what you hope students will take from it. How will you design your teaching of the course to make that happen?
- What courses would you feel best prepared to teach? What ideas do you have for teaching in this program across our curriculum? Are there new courses you would like to add to our curriculum?
- In addition to teaching in biology, we expect our faculty to teach courses to a general audience of students in our Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. Most scientists teach in the Core: Sciences component, where the main objective is to teach first- and second-year students about the scientific process and how science interacts with society. What ideas do you have for teaching in this Core component?
- Describe a teaching experience you’ve had. What did you do that you were proud of? What did you learn from the experience, and what would you do differently in the future? How would that teaching be similar to or different from your teaching at Colgate?
- What have you learned about teaching, outside of your direct experience as a teacher? What effective instructional practices did you observe when you were a student? What are you particularly interested in trying at Colgate?
- Teaching can also occur in laboratory settings. How have your experiences mentoring students in the research lab and/or in a classroom laboratory influenced how you approach teaching?
You cannot possibly include all of this information in a statement of reasonable length, so write about whatever you care about the most. Also, feel free to write about things that are important to you but that we have not included on this list. Above all, we are interested in understanding who you are as a teacher and scholar.
We expect that, beyond being an effective teacher, you will also be an engaged scholar in an area of Molecular Biology, and that you will involve students in your research. We are open to any area(s) of research that engages with Molecular Biology at a molecular and/or genetic level, and such work could include in vivo or in vitro models. A computational component to your research would be considered, but our strong preference is for candidates to engage students in experimental approaches. Your statement should convince us that you have chosen an exciting area of research and have thought of projects that can be accomplished in an undergraduate environment. Typically your statement will be 2 - 3 pages. You may include a relevant figure or two in the statement if it helps illustrate an important aspect of your research, but you should not feel obligated to.
Please remember that while some of us may work in fields of research adjacent to yours, others will be working in completely different areas of biology. Please help all of us understand your research and why your field of research is promising.
In addition, let us know how undergraduates can contribute to and learn from your research. All of our students complete senior research projects during one semester, and many students work in our labs for 8-10 weeks during the summer, and during the academic year. Your statement should give us a general understanding of the types of student projects you might mentor at varying levels of student experience.
Statement on Engagement with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Colgate University strives to be a community supportive of diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and is committed to being an inclusive and equitable learning and scholarly community where all students and faculty can thrive. Our Third Century Plan includes significant institutional initiatives in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In a brief statement (1-2 pages), please tell us about your engagement with, or plans for, inclusion and equity in your teaching, research, mentoring, and/or service in a diverse educational environment.
As biology spans a wide range of ideas, our classes explore concepts across cellular and molecular biology, organismal and evolutionary biology, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, plant and animal physiology, and animal behavior. Students are broadly exposed to these ideas in our 100- and 200- level courses and then specialize in our 300- and 400- level elective courses. Throughout the curriculum, students engage with the scientific literature and the scientific process. Students in the Biology Department may choose from four different majors: Biology, Molecular Biology, Environmental Biology, and Marine & Freshwater Science. Many students from other majors and programs are active participants in our courses.
The Biology department engages students in research in both classroom and faculty laboratories. All students are required to complete one semester of research during their senior year by taking a senior research tutorial (BIOL474 - 489), but many of our students start research earlier during the academic year or as part of our summer research program. We have robust facilities and resources that enable cutting-edge research, and our faculty actively publish and write grants to further support their research. The Biology department is housed in the Ho Science Center and Olin Hall, the latter of which is currently being renovated to provide state-of-the-art classroom, laboratory and collaborative spaces. The renovation of Olin Hall will be completed by the start of the spring semester 2024.
Many of our students study abroad during their time at Colgate University. In addition, many of our faculty lead Colgate Study Groups including the Bethesda Biomedical Research Study Group, which allows students to earn college credit for conducting research at the NIH during the academic year.
Additional information about our faculty, our curriculum, our facilities, student research opportunities, and off-campus study can be found in the menu to the left.
Colgate is a small liberal arts college, despite having “university” in the name. We are an almost entirely undergraduate institution, committed to a rigorous and engaging liberal arts curriculum. Thus, in addition to choosing a major, our students take a range of classes across the curriculum. Our students work at a very high caliber, and they expect to be challenged. Colgate takes the liberal arts education model very seriously indeed, which translates into an emphasis on intellectual inquiry, rather than practical professional training. We all see ourselves as researchers, and we bring our scholarly interests into the classroom with us.
You can find additional information about Colgate’s support of our faculty and information about Central New York, where we are situated on our Introducing Colgate website.