Advanced MCTP Graduate Traineeships

Three Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees will be selected from the continuing Ph.D. students, and are targeted for students expecting to graduate within about 12 months. Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees will be fully paid for a twelve month period, running from January of the academic year before they plan to graduate through December of the academic year they plan to graduate. Trainees will be paid $22,500 and be relieved of teaching responsibilities as they navigate the important transition from graduate student to their post-graduate school career. Selection of Advanced Graduate Trainees is based on their stated intent to remain in academia and their academic record.

Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees complete a Faculty Internship and participate in the Professional Development Seminar in the spring. During the summer prior to their last academic year, Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees will participate in Nebraska IMMERSE as mentors. During the fall of their final academic year, Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees will participate in a collaborative Academic Job Search Workshop. Each of these requirements is described below.

Faculty Internships

Faculty Internships are designed to help Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees develop a comprehensive understanding of positions at four-year colleges. Each trainee will be matched with a faculty mentor at a nearby four-year college, such as Concordia University in Seward or Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. The mentor will meet with the trainee at least four times over the course of the semester to discuss issues related to being a faculty member at a four-year college. The trainee will also meet with a group of students from the college, and will give a lecture to the students. If possible, the mentor will arrange for a mock interview for the trainee with the department chair or dean. In addition, the trainee will work closely with the mentor on one specific upper-level course, discussing everything from designing a syllabus to preparing lectures to writing exams, and will conduct one class period for the course, with the advice and supervision of the faculty mentor.

The mentoring relationship will continue the following academic year, when the mentor will be a resource to the trainee as he/she applies for jobs and goes on interviews. Travel funds will be provided to enable the mentor to attend the Joint Mathematics Meetings so that the mentor can be on hand as the trainee begins the interviewing process.

Professional Development Seminar

The purpose of the Professional Development Seminar is to give participants excellent preparation for issues they will face as faculty members at four-year colleges. Topics will include:

  • writing grant proposals,
  • navigating service commitments,
  • strategies for teaching courses outside one's area of expertise,
  • tips for incorporating active learning in courses, and
  • time management.

Seeking external funding has become an increasingly important activity for faculty members. Thus, participants in this seminar will also begin working on proposals to the NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships Program.

IMMERSE Mentoring

Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees are expected to participate, for six weeks during the summer prior to their final year, as mentors in the Nebraska IMMERSE Program. Trainees will help an early career faculty member from a 4-year school prepare and run a six week intensive course in algebra or analysis (to be based on research papers), and possibly run a qualifying exam workshop for beginning graduate students. This provides trainees with the opportunity to develop meaningful contacts with a four-year school, as well as experience with mentoring.

Academic Job Search Workshop

It is expected that Advanced MCTP Graduate Trainees will be applying for jobs during the fall term. This task will be tackled collaboratively through the Academic Job Search Workshop. In this workshop, participants work together in sorting through job announcements as well as writing CVs, cover letters, research statements and teaching statements. Each participant will prepare a talk that he/she can give on interviews, and they will present these talks to each other. Follow-up mentoring will be provided in the spring, as trainees will receive guidance on negotiating job offers and will be encouraged to apply for programs such as Project NExT.