Workshops for MIT Biology Postdocs Entering the Academic Job Market

New in 2023! Workshops for MIT Biology Postdocs entering the Academic Job Market

Eligibility: Any postdoc affiliated with a MIT Biology Department lab.

Application:  Each workshop is a stand-alone unit that does not require participation in preceding workshops. To apply, email a brief paragraph to indicating scientific area, current lab, and job plans. This email also constitutes a commitment to submit required materials by the deadline.

Research Statement Writing Workshop: August 24 – September 8, 2023

The Research Statement is a critical part of your application for many academic faculty jobs. A strong Research Statement introduces your track record and presents a readable, compelling, and feasible plan for your future independent research program. This workshop will allow you to hone your Research Statement using feedback from peers and experienced faculty.

Required materials: You will need to upload a draft statement (limit 3 pages including Figures but not references) before the workshop, and you are strongly encouraged to consult your PI in preparing that draft. Advice on preparing a Research Statement:

Instructors: Laurie Boyer, Iain Cheeseman, Michael Laub, Daniel Lew, and Yukiko Yamashita

Application deadline: August 1

Draft deadline: August 22

Workshop Dates: August 24, August 25, September 5, and September 8

Research Vision Workshop: October 16 20, 2023

Your Research Vision is a concise summary of your overarching research focus. The ability to convey core concepts in a manner intelligible to a broad audience, and the generation of visual elements that can best deliver your message, will be useful for both job applications and interviews, and greatly enhance your success in the academic job market. Based on the peer mentoring model developed by the Leading Edge Fellows (, this workshop will allow you to hone your Research Vision through interactive feedback and exposure to other applicants’ ideas and styles.

Required Materials: You will need to upload an “Executive Summary” Figure and prepare a 10-minute talk before the workshop.  The talk and single Figure should provide a big-picture summary that answers the following questions:

  • What is the knowledge gap I hope to fill or problem I hope to solve?
  • Why is it important to the field that this problem be solved?
  • Why am I the best person to answer this question?
  • How is my work distinct from that of my advisor or others in the field?
  • Which model systems and technologies will I use or adapt in my program?

Instructors: Daniel Lew, Alison Ringel, Hernandez Moura Silva, Yadira Soto-Feliciano, and Snow Zhou

Application Deadline: September 25

Figure Deadline: October 14

Workshop Dates: October 16-20

Chalk Talk Workshop: November 3 – 9, 2023

The Chalk Talk is a common but variable component of the interview process (see e.g. or It focuses on your future plans, not what you have already done. In this workshop, you will first see a “mock” chalk talk by a junior PI, and then you will present your own practice chalk talk and receive feedback from faculty and peers.

Required materials: You will need to develop a chalk talk before the workshop.

Instructors: Chris Kaiser, Becky Lamason, Jackie Lees, Daniel Lew, Troy Littleton, Stefani Spranger, and Brady Weissbourd

Application Deadline: September 25

Workshop Dates: November 3-9

Mentoring Workshop:  November 8, 2023, 1PM-3PM

Understanding the core competencies and effective strategies of being a mentor is an essential skill for any faculty position. This hands-on, skill-based workshop, will explore mentoring competencies and theories, strategies for effective mentorship, and tools to improve mentoring skills as a mentor. The workshop will help participants identify and develop their mentoring styles, give participants tools for successful mentoring relationships and create an action plan for mentoring in future roles.

Application Process: Interested participants should fill out this form and will receive confirmation of their participation shortly afterward.

Workshop Date: November 8, 1PM-3PM

Instructors: Hallie Dowling-Huppert and Darcy Gordon