Obtaining a faculty position in STEM at a research-intensive institution

Jim O. Vigoreaux, Michael J. Leibowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Progressing from postdoctoral training to a STEM faculty appointment at a Research Intensive Institution (RII) is a daunting transition, and may be especially challenging to those who have followed a less-than-conventional path or whose peers have lost interest in academic careers. This article describes how to prepare for and progress through the application process for institutions in the USA, which takes approximately 1 year, including what to expect at each step and recommendations for a successful transition. The odds of success for any individual application are low, making good preparation and careful planning the more important, as does managing expectations to avoid becoming discouraged early in the process. The rewards of landing the faculty appointment at an institution that matches your professional and personal needs and for which you are best suited more than exceeds the effort required to attain it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalBMC Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Faculty
  • Research intensive institution
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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