The following provides some information about the Carleton College Psychology Department’s hiring process, in particular what we are looking for in your application for our tenure track position.
The job ad is here. The start date is listed as September of 2024, but we can delay the start date if necessary. Therefore, candidates who aren’t available until September of 2025 are still encouraged to apply!
The application requires submission of the following documents, which are described in more detail below: 1) a cover letter, 2) CV, 3) a statement about teaching in an undergraduate liberal arts environment and how you would contribute to a college community that embraces a diversity of people and perspectives as one of its core values, and 4) a description of research interests, particularly that which can be carried out in collaboration with undergraduates at Carleton.
1) Cover Letter and 2) Curriculum Vitae: The cover letter should discuss your interest in and qualifications for this position. In addition, please describe any prior teaching experiences that you have had. There are many ways to acquire teaching experience, including mentoring undergraduates and other graduate students, being a TA, etc.
3) Statement about teaching in an undergraduate liberal arts environment and how you would contribute to a college community that embraces a diversity of people and perspectives as one of its core values: Your teaching statement is your opportunity to share with us who you are in the classroom, the approach you take to teaching, and a discussion of your engagement with and efforts related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in your work. While these ideas might permeate all areas of your work, this is a place to be sure to include your thoughts on these important topics.
4) Detailed description of research interests and how you would carry out your work with undergraduate students: It is helpful to hear about approaches you’ve taken in the past and the kind of work you would like to do in the future. What are the research questions you are interested in pursuing?
After passing through an initial screening, applicants may receive a request for the contact information for three references. It is helpful if you explain to those writing recommendation letters for you that you are applying for a position where both teaching and research experience is important, so that they can comment on both of these areas.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the chair, Julia Strand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From our pool of applicants, a subset is being selected for an initial Zoom interview with Carleton faculty. These conversations will be an opportunity for us to learn more about the candidate’s experiences and research/teaching plans with undergraduates, as well as for the candidates to find out more about our program. The interviewers will have read all your materials, so we are looking for information that goes beyond what you have already written.
The interviews will be guided by the following questions:
- What do you find most exciting about the possibility of working at Carleton College? Are there ways we could help you get off to a great start in our department?
- Carleton is an institution that puts a high premium on teaching, and as a department, we recognize that there are many different ways of teaching well. What are the approaches you would use to create a classroom environment where people feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and discussing sensitive topics, including when they might disagree with others or with you?
- How do you see your research increasing understanding of the experiences and perspectives of historically underrepresented groups in psychology? How will you involve students in your research program?
- What strategies do you plan to use for teaching and mentoring a broadly diverse group of students with different backgrounds, preparation, and experiences in psychology? How have your prior experiences shaped the way you think about supporting a diverse set of learners?
- What questions can we answer for you about the position, our department, Carleton, or Northfield?
Campus visits span two days and will include conversations and meals with students and faculty in the department, a talk on the candidate’s research, and a teaching demonstration. We will arrange flights and accommodation in Northfield and send you a detailed schedule as soon as possible.
Meetings within the department
The visit will include meetings and meals with all the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet with psychology majors over lunch.
Both the research talk and the teaching demonstration will be given in Carleton classrooms with standard AV capabilities. You are welcome to bring your own computer or use the iMac at the teaching station. The talks will be recorded but only shared with department faculty who cannot attend.
The research talk: The research talk should be about 45 minutes long, which will give time for questions afterward. The audience will include faculty and majors. Our students are bright and interested, but may not have experience with the topic you are presenting. Therefore, we encourage you to situate your talk in the literature and give sufficient background that undergraduates will understand. In addition, it is helpful if you provide detail about your own approach and the work you hope to pursue, so that students can get a sense of how you do research and what working with you might involve.
The teaching demonstration: The teaching demonstration will be a 50-minute mock class that assumes only a background of introductory psychology. Therefore, you might think of this as a sample lecture in a mid-level course that you would teach. You are welcome to use any teaching approaches you would use in class—we encourage you to look for ways to make the class participatory and interactive. Both faculty and students will attend. Because you are doing a research talk as well, it is not necessary that you incorporate your own scholarship into the teaching demonstration.
Meetings with administration other college personnel
The interview will include a meeting with the College Provost, Michelle Mattson. You will also have time available in your schedule for a limited number of other meetings outside the psychology department, based on your interests. These could include faculty in other departments with overlapping teaching/research interests, technical staff shared across the sciences, key people involved in faculty support (from the Learning and Teaching Center or Grants Office), staff involved in student support roles (e.g. our quantitative resource center director or the TRIO/SSS program director), or anyone else you might find interesting and helpful (e.g., faculty or staff outside psychology who can provide different perspectives on the Carleton community or life in Northfield or the Twin Cities). If there are faculty or staff outside of the department you would like to meet with, please let us know.