We would like every applicant to have access to the application conventions and expectations that we will apply during our review process. For that reason, it is worth telling you a little more about ourselves as a program and about what we are looking for in your application materials.
About Colgate University
Colgate is a small liberal arts college, despite having “university” in the name. We are a predominantly undergraduate institution, committed to a rigorous and engaging liberal arts 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.
About the Neuroscience Program
Colgate has one of the oldest undergraduate Neuroscience programs in the country. This interdisciplinary program is housed in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and also draws faculty from the Department of Biology. In addition to courses in Neuroscience, Psychological Science and Biology, majors are encouraged to connect with coursework in other disciplines including chemistry, philosophy, computer science, physics and mathematics. Additional information about our faculty, our major, and our curriculum can be found in the menu to the left.
Colgate recently inaugurated the Robert Hung Ngai Ho ’56 Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, which will provide support for innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary teaching and research exploring any level of mind, brain and/or behavior. This center will be housed in a new extension of Olin Hall, which is currently being renovated to provide state-of-the-art classroom, laboratory and collaborative spaces. When complete, Olin Hall will house our vivarium and a rich array of shared research equipment that allows investigation into the Mind, Brain and Behavior across a range of scales from cellular genetics to human behavior.
For our tenure-track position in cellular/molecular neuroscience, we are asking for a cover letter, your curriculum vitae, 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 you 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 academic appointments, with dates, and all of 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 demarcate those. Also, we would appreciate a list of any classes you have taught, with instructor of record vs. teaching assistant clearly demarcated.
Names of references
At the initial application, we don’t need reference letters, but we would like the names of your recommenders (and their titles, institutions, and email addresses), either at the end of your CV or in a separate document (these should also be placed in the appropriate section on the Academic Jobs Online 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. To illustrate this, there are many forms your evidence can take. Here are some possibilities, but do not feel compelled to address each one:
- 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 neuroscience, 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 students about the scientific process and how science interacts with society. What ideas do you have for teaching in this program?
- 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?
You cannot possibly include all 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 Cellular and/or Molecular Neuroscience and involve students in the research process. We are open to any area(s) of research that engages with Neuroscience at a cellular and/or molecular level, and such work could include in vivo or in vitro models. 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 are welcome to include a relevant figure or two in the statement if it helps illustrate an important aspect of your research, but should not feel obligated to.
Please remember that while some of us may work in fields of research adjacent to your own, others will be working in completely different areas in neuroscience, biology, or psychological and brain sciences. Please aim to convince all of us that your field of research is promising.
Let us know how undergraduates can contribute to and learn from your research. All our students complete senior research projects, and many work in our labs for summers and during the academic year. Your statement should give us a general understanding of the sorts of student projects you might mentor.
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.