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 department and about what we are looking for in your application materials.

Application Materials

For our tenure-stream position in affective science, we are asking for a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, the names of three references, a teaching statement, a research statement, and a statement on engagement with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Cover Letter

In your cover letter (1 - 2 pages single-spaced), introduce yourself to us as a scholar and as a teacher. Your cover letter should briefly introduce us to your research area within the field of affective science and your 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.

Curriculum Vitae

On your CV, please 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 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.

Teaching Statement

Typically your statement will be 2 - 3 pages, single-spaced. Teaching responsibilities for this position are likely to include staff-taught courses (e.g., Introduction to Psychological Science, Research Methods, or Statistics), elective courses in your specialty area, and supervision of senior thesis work (which normally counts as a one course load).

In this statement, we are 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 psychological and brain sciences, we expect our faculty to teach courses to a general audience of students in our Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. Faculty in our department typically teach in the Core: Sciences component, where the main objective is to teach students about the scientific process and how science intersects with important societal issues. 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.  

Research Statement

We expect that, beyond being an effective teacher, you will also be an engaged scholar in an area of affective science and that you will involve students in the research process. As noted in the job ad, the specific area of human-focused research within affective science is open, but scholarship focused on social/personality, developmental, or clinical psychology is preferred. 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, single-spaced. 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 psychological science or neuroscience.  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.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

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. In these statements, we are not looking for candidates who adopt a particular perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but rather for candidates who can address these topics in a thoughtful, compelling manner.


If you have any questions about our search process, please email the search chair Rebecca Shiner.

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers a robust curriculum for students and supports research across all of the major subfields of psychological science, including clinical, cognitive, developmental, personality, and social psychology. Our interdisciplinary Neuroscience program is housed in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Many faculty in the department conduct research that draws from the theories and methods of multiple subfields. 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. The renovation of Olin Hall will be complete by the start of the spring semester 2024.

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 greatly values the liberal arts education model, 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 the surrounding Central New York area on our Introducing Colgate website.