Issue of September 25, 2009
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery
This week's issues:
***The following positions were taken from WIPHYS***
1. Advice Request: How to be a Good Mentor
From: Joan Schmelz [jschmelz_at_memphis.edu]
AASWOMEN has had an anonymous request for advice on how to be a successful mentor to undergraduate students:
I would like all the help I can get on being a mentor. While I had good advisors (in the formal sense of that word) as a student, I've never really had a mentor. As a tenured professor, I now find myself in a position to mentor undergraduates with a wide range of experiences, needs, and expectations. As gender issues (problems) come up in my department, I am often unsure of how to address them in my unofficial role as a mentor. I want to do more than just tell students how I would have handled the problem when I was an undergrad. I'm flying by the seat of my pants, as the saying goes, and would appreciate insight from others.Back to top.
2. University of Michigan ADVANCE
From: Ed Deluca [edeluca_at_cfa.harvard.edu]
[Several alert readers have pointed us to the website for the University of Michigan ADVANCE program, one of the best in the nation - Eds.]
The home page is here:
There is some interesting material about mentoring and evaluating candidates for faculty positions, with links to each of the following:
Toolkits for Chairs and Administrative Leaders STRIDE Committee CRLT Players Faculty Career Advising Candidate Evaluation Tool Giving and Getting Career Advice Handbook Handbook for Faculty Searches and Hiring Assessing the Academic Work Environment
If the administrators at your college or university are not following the practices described in the 'Handbook for Faculty Searches and Hiring,' please investigate ways of encouraging them to do so. It includes extensive discussions on creating a diverse applicant pool, a sample candidate evaluation sheet, and an extensive bibliography.Back to top.
3. The GAPP Project
From: Kevin Marvel [kevin.marvel_at_aas.org]
I was unaware of this project until reviewing a recent issue of research.eu, a publication from the European Union. I wanted to share the website of the project with the AASWOMEN readers:
Description form the website: It is well known that in Europe young people are losing contact with science and the number of science students in universities has decreased. At the same time, in this context a gender difference does exist: girls appear less interested in science and technology than boys and a gender disparity emerges from university matriculations in 'hard science' faculties, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, or technological faculties, such as information science or engineering.
The GAPP project will act on both these levels by establishing an integrated process of qualitative research and by developing new practices in science communication and education. The aim is to understand the reasons for this lack of interest young people - girls in particular - show in science and technology, to subsequently implement a social dialogue among the different stakeholders. This implies: firstly, identifying young people’s issues and expectations; secondly, developing and testing a range of practical activities to overcome gender differences.
These goals will be achieved through a range of research instruments and participative procedures. It will take the discussion to a deeper level and will provide the opportunity to develop creative solutions and 'pilot activities' to test the proposed practical solutions. Each phase will provide results - useful per se - to be also the basis for the next step in activities. The overall process and outcomes will be assessed and published for the subsequent dissemination of findings and recommendations to take into account the gender dimension in science education and in career guidance. A final conference is scheduled in order to spread the results to policymakers and experts all over Europe.Back to top.
4. AAS Professional Development Workshops
From: Kelle Cruz [kellecruz_at_gmail.com]
As mentioned in the most recent AAS Electronic Announcement, the professional development offerings at the AAS meeting have been expanded. In particular, workshops on leadership, negotiating, and writing productivity are being offered this January for $50 each. You can sign up for them on the meeting registration page at http://members.aas.org . The intention is that these types of workshops become a regular part of the meeting.
Emerging Leadership: Development of leadership skills in problem-solving and leading change Tues morning (8:30am - 12pm) Intended Audience: Early-career scientists who are or wish to be in a leadership position (Post-Docs, Junior Faculty, and Staff). Limited to 25 participants.
Do you guide other people's research projects? Do you plan to be or are you currently the Principal Investigator on projects with several collaborators? Are you frequently in committee meetings, and sometimes chairing them? Do you want to eventually be a team lead, department chair or dean? This workshop will focus on some of the leadership skills that are necessary to perform effectively in these roles. Participants will increase their leadership skills by understanding effective and ineffective leadership characteristics, personal leadership strengths and development needs, leadership negotiation and problem-solving, how to lead change, among other topics. Attendees will select a case to practice in a role-play exercise. Participants will practice leadership skills; get feedback from coaches; and discuss best techniques for leading successfully.
Basic Negotiations, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution [Note: this workshop will be very similar to the one offered at WIA III in Oct.] Tues Afternoon (2 - 6pm) Intended Audience: Graduate students and Post-Docs. Limited to 25 participants.
This seminar is designed to build understanding of mutual interest based negotiations or solution finding by developing understanding of the parties’ interests and developing alternatives that enhance the possibility of reaching agreement. Participants will evaluate their personal conflict resolution styles. Case studies will reinforce the use of effective styles in negotiating and problem-solving. Case practice will include a competitive job offer, committee service, salary increase and assuring research resources. These cases help define patterns of negotiations when choice and stress are factors. Development of supporting data, options and packaging solutions are examined relative to these cases. Several methods of responding to difficult tactics will be demonstrated and discussed.
Not Another Scientific Presentation: How to maximize your productivity on long-term writing projects Wed afternoon (2 - 4pm) Intended Audience: Anyone who would like to increase their writing productivity.
Do you have research that has gone unpublished because you can’t make yourself finish the manuscript? Do you sometimes suffer from writer’s block? Do you wait for that elusive free morning in order to concentrate on your writing, but find that the time is never available? Or do you just plain procrastinate on writing? This seminar will present simple, doable action steps that you can take to increase and maintain your writing productivity over the course of a long-term writing project. If you’ve been unhappy with your writing output, the strategies presented here can help you turn around your writing habits, while dispelling common myths about writing that impede productivity.Back to top.
5. Childcare Grants, APS Meeting, Feb. 13-16, 2010
From: WIPHYS Sep 24, 2009
Small grants of up to $400 are available to assist APS meeting attendees who are bringing small children or who incur extra expenses in leaving them at home. Information is available at
Applications for must be received by December 15, 2009 to be considered by a subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP). In the event that the number of requests for grants exceeds the funding available, preference will be given to applicants in the early stages of their careers.
Similar grants will be available in connection with the March 15-19, 2010 APS meeting in Portland, Oregon. Information will be posted on the Meetings website in October.Back to top.
6. Postdoctoral Position in Experimental Astrophysics, Syracuse University
From: WIPHYS Sep 23, 2009
A postdoctoral position in experimental astrophysics is available in the group of Professor Gianfranco Vidali at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (USA). The candidate will work on a new project to study the formation of molecules on surfaces of interstellar dust analogues. The position begins in early 2010 and is for one year renewable for a second year.
The successful candidate should hold a PhD in physics or related field and have a strong experience in ultra-high vacuum and surface science techniques. Additional experience in atomic/molecular beams and low temperature techniques is a plus. Review of materials will begin immediately and applications will be considered until the position is filled. Qualified candidates should send to Professor Gianfranco Vidali gvidali_at_syr.edu their curriculum vitae, list of publications, a statement describing their qualifications, and the email addresses/phone numbers of three references. Electronic application materials are preferred (please include them as an email attachment). For further information about the research in Prof. Vidali's group see the Web-site
Syracuse University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Members of minority groups and women are especially encouraged to apply.Back to top.
7. Astrophysics Faculty Position, Johns Hopkins University
From: WIPHYS Sep 23, 2009
Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Johns Hopkins University invites applications for a faculty position in astrophysics. We will consider applicants in all subfields of astrophysics. We expect that this appointment will be made at the level of assistant professor, but appointments at a higher level may be possible in exceptional cases.
Current faculty members are active in theory, developing astronomical instrumentation (particularly for space-based and sub-orbital platforms), observational astronomy across a wide range of wavelengths, and data intensive science. Research interests of the current faculty members include planetary science, extra-solar planets, the interstellar medium, stellar populations, high-energy astrophysics, active galaxies, galaxy formation and evolution, and cosmology.
Johns Hopkins is a member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III and Pan-STARRS 1 projects, owns a share of the Apache Point Observatory 3.5m telescope, is the lead institution on WMAP and an institutional member of the GALEX mission. We are playing a leading role in the National Virtual Observatory. We cooperate closely with the adjacent Space Telescope Science Institute (which runs the science program of the newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope and will do the same for the James Webb Space Telescope), the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Applicants should submit curriculum vitae, list of publications, and short description of research plans as PDF attachments to astrosearch_at_pha.jhu.edu and also arrange to have three letters of reference e-mailed by reviewers to the same address. Mail may be addressed to: Astrophysics Search Committee, c/o Ms. Pam Carmen, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 USA.
Consideration of applications will begin on December 1, and will continue until the position is filled. Hopkins is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and welcomes applications from women and members of underrepresented groups.Back to top.
8. Faculty Position in Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Ohio State University
From: WIPHYS Sep 24, 2009
Department of Physics at The Ohio State University anticipates a tenure track faculty appointment effective Fall Quarter 2010. Highly qualified candidates in all areas of particle astrophysics and cosmology are invited to apply. While we are primarily searching for a junior experimentalist, exceptionally well-qualified candidates at all levels in either theory or experiment will be considered.
The position is affiliated with the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, a joint venture between the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and a joint appointment in the Department of Astronomy is possible. Additional information about CCAPP can be found at
Applicants should have a Ph.D. and an outstanding research record. A commitment to excellence in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is essential.
The Department currently has 55 faculty and approximately 60 postdoctoral researchers and research scientists, 160 graduate students, and 250 undergraduate majors. Our expanding research operation is located in the new Physics Research Building, which contains state-of-the-art office, meeting, and laboratory space. Additional information about the department may be found at
All applications should be submitted electronically at
Candidates should submit a letter of application, a complete curriculum vitae including a list of publications, a brief description of research plans, and a teaching statement. Senior applicants should provide contact information for at least four people from whom letters of reference may be requested. Junior applicants should arrange for at least four letters of reference to be sent to:
Astrophysics Search Committee Department of Physics The Ohio State University 191 West Woodruff Ave. Columbus, OH 43210.
Applications received by 1 December 2009 are assured of full consideration. Job application assistance is available for dual career situations. To build a diverse workforce, Ohio State encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Flexible work options are available. Ohio State is an NSF ADVANCE Institution. EEO/AA Employer.Back to top.
9. Asst. Professor of Physics at Whitworth University: Announcement and Comment
From: WIPHYS Sep 22, 2009
[This anonymous response was sent to WIPHYS after the following job announcement appeared. We checked the original posting, and it does appear to be a legitimate opening. Although we do share come concerns, we feel that AASWOMEN should not be censoring job ads based on religion, and it should be up to the reader to decide if he/she wants to apply for such a job - Eds.]
I am dismayed to see Whitworth University's ad for physics faculty, for which it is clear that only Christians need apply. The accompanying statement that "Whitworth University does not discriminate ...on the basis of...religion" looks obviously false. Is this kind of advertisement legal? I've read about the challenge of applying federal anti-discrimination laws to religious-affiliated institutions. It seems like a murky area of the law.
Founded in 1890, Whitworth has been consistently ranked among the top regional colleges and universities in the West. In its strong liberal arts undergraduate education and graduate programs, Whitworth combines the Christian heritage of the University, its commitment to academic rigor and its long-standing orientation toward human service. A community of Christian scholars carries out the University's mission "to provide its diverse student body an education of the mind and heart." Whitworth is located in Spokane, Washington.
The successful candidate will demonstrate a clear commitment to Whitworth's mission, strong teaching skills, an emerging record of publications, and a commitment to institutional service. Teaching responsibilities for this position span the entire physics curriculum, from courses for non-science majors, to introductory physics courses for majors, to upper-division courses in various areas of physics.
The typical teaching load is two courses and two associated laboratories per semester, and a January term course. This position comes with a generous starting package to start a student-faculty research program. Candidates should demonstrate the initiative necessary to leverage this to receive external funding. Participation in departmental activities, academic advising, faculty assemblies, development days, retreats, committees and other forms of faculty governance is expected.
Qualifications, Skills and Abilities: Ph.D. or ABD by July 2010 in Physics or a related discipline, such as Astronomy, Applied Physics or a relevant branch of engineering; Demonstrated potential for effective college-level teaching; A personal commitment to the Christian faith and to the integration of faith and learning; The ability and desire to establish a positive relationship with persons regardless of race, gender, physical limitation or religious belief; A commitment to equal opportunity for all persons; A commitment to the educational mission of Whitworth as a Christian liberal-arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Background check required.
Application review will begin on October 1, 2009. The position remains open and applications will be reviewed until filled. Please visit our website at http://www.whitworth.edu/jobs for a link to the position announcement and information on Whitworth's faculty application process. With our commitment to building a diverse community, we encourage applications from women, persons with disabilities, and members of under-represented ethnic groups.
Whitworth University does not discriminate in its educational programs on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin or physical disability.
JoAnn Fox, Assistant Director, Human Resource Services Whitworth University 509.777.4413 jobs_at_whitworth.eduBack to top.
10. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN
[Please remember to replace "_at_" in the below e-mail addresses.]
To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org.
All material sent to that address will be posted unless you tell us otherwise (including your email address).
To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to
and fill out the form.
If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.orgBack to top.
11. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN
Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.