“The Summer Institute was one of the most important features of my job search and eventually getting a tenure-track job. The course prepared me to think carefully about the application process and about how to prepare the best applications for each institution. It helped me understand the interworkings of a faculty position and higher education more broadly as well as the kind of work that would be expected of me as a faculty member. Perhaps most importantly, it also prepared me to engage in the professional conversations expected of a potential colleague, paving the way for the transition from graduate student to faculty member. It was absolutely a key factor in getting an academic position, and I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking that an academic position might be for them.”

“A superb opportunity to learn how academia really works and to get my priorities in order.”

— Summer Institute alumni

The Graduate Division is pleased to announce its fourteenth annual Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty.

General Description
Course Descriptions
Application Procedure

General Description

Offered jointly by the Graduate Division’s Graduate Writing Center and GSI Teaching & Resource Center, the Summer Institute enables graduate students to excel in all aspects of academic life as they pursue an advanced degree at UC Berkeley and transition from graduate school to future academic careers. Graduate students who are nearing completion of their graduate programs and beginning to prepare for the academic job market are encouraged to apply.

The 2018 Summer Institute will take place over a six-week period, May 23 to June 29.

Summer Institute fellows attend two courses:

  • Core course: From Graduate Student to Faculty Member (Wednesdays 1 to 5 p.m.)
  • One of two elective courses, either academic writing and publishing or developing a teaching portfolio (Mondays and Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.)

Please see the Course Descriptions for details.

“It certainly made me feel better educated about what to expect and helped me to identify important things to consider in the job search. I also feel like I have a much better sense of where to look for information that I will need, and also that I have received lots of practical ‘mentoring-type’ advice from panelists.”

Course Descriptions

Core Course: From Graduate Student to Faculty Member

Wednesdays, May 23 to June 29, 2018; 1 to 5 p.m.
Co-taught by Sabrina Soracco, Director, Graduate Writing Center, and
Linda von Hoene, Director, GSI Teaching & Resource Center

This course, required of all institute fellows, focuses on the history and structure of higher education in the United States, how faculty roles and responsibilities are defined at various types of institutions, the challenges that face a new faculty member, what is required to get tenure at different types of institutions, and how to prepare for the academic job search. The course will include guest presentations by faculty from a range of institutional types (research universities, liberal arts colleges, master’s granting universities, community college) where graduate students may be employed as future faculty.

“My career goals have been clarified. I was generally considering the academic track—now I know where I want to be and what I need to do to get there.”

Elective Courses

Mondays and Thursdays, May 23 to June 29, 2018
Summer Institute fellows are required to take one of the following courses:

Developing a Teaching Portfolio, 1 to 3 p.m.

Instructor: Linda von Hoene, Director, GSI Teaching & Resource Center

This course will introduce Institute fellows to the teaching portfolio as a means to improve teaching and as a vehicle to present one’s teaching in the academic job search. In the process of creating their own portfolios, Institute fellows will have the opportunity to deepen their teaching skills in areas such as how to develop a syllabus and design a course; how to assess teaching and learning; and how to utilize specific strategies to improve teaching and learning. Fellows will have a completed teaching portfolio by the end of the course.

Editing, Academic Writing, and Academic Publishing, 3 to 5 p.m.

Instructor: Sabrina Soracco, Director, Graduate Writing Services

In this course graduate students will learn the skills of professional editing and work intensively on a piece of their own academic writing. By the end of the course, students will have substantially revised a major piece of their work (for example a dissertation chapter or a scholarly article); will be better able to self-edit and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their own writing; and will know how to edit scholarly prose and to work with editors and authors.

“Now that I have a clearer idea of what’s required — the task seems less daunting. Clarifying my goals has also energized me in my graduate research, and given me ideas for goals in my post-doctoral work to make the transition to faculty member easier.”

Application Procedure

Applicants must be UC Berkeley graduate students who are advanced to candidacy by the beginning of the Summer Institute (May 23, 2018). Berkeley Ph.D.s who graduate in May 2018 may also take the program. Graduate students from other campuses, postdocs, and visiting scholars are welcome to join the program but must enroll through Summer Sessions and pay Summer Sessions fees.

Materials required for application:

1. Curriculum vitae

2. One-page statement of interest addressing

  • your career goals;
  • your research and teaching interests;
  • why you would like to participate in the Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty; and
  • what you hope to get out of the program and the specific courses being offered this year.

3. Completed online application (curriculum vitae and statement will be uploaded to the application portal)

4. Confidential letter of recommendation from your dissertation committee chair (or intended dissertation chair if you have not yet advanced to candidacy at the time of application). The letter should address

  • your work to date in your graduate program and your potential contribution to the field;
  • your commitment to a future career in higher education; and
  • how participation in the Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty will benefit you.

The letter of recommendation must be submitted electronically by the faculty member to the application portal by March 23, 2018.

Application Portal


Deadline for submitting application:

Friday, March 23, 2018, 4 p.m.

For further information, please contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center at 642-4456 or gsi@berkeley.edu.

“I did not know much about what it was like going on the job market and I think I now know everything I should in order to be prepared for the whole process. The readings, the discussions, the panels, and talking to the students in the course — all were so helpful in getting a complete picture of my future.”