ECM Guiding Questions

Early Career Management at Michigan Tech

Please begin each session by asking if there are any questions or concerns from new faculty.

  1. Equipment:
    1. What equipment is available in core facilities/colleagues labs?
    2. When is it necessary and how to best arrange on site demos?
    3. What can be purchased with start-up funds?
    4. What is the best timing for purchase?
    5. What IT support is available and how best to navigate requests?
  1. Research:
    1. How best to identify, connect with, and sustain collaborations in other units? in other institutions? in own unit?
    2. What resources exist to locate funding opportunities?
    3. What centers/institutes would be beneficial? How to best connect?
    4. What resources exist to write and submit proposals (e.g. connect with the Research Development team)?
    5. What are the expectations for external funding/grants (REF guidance in yr 2)?
    6. If I have a specific question about a particular federal agency (i.e., NSF, NIH, NIFA, etc) is there someone outside my dept I can contact?
  1. Managing a Budget:
    1. Strategies for spending start-up in most impactful manner?
    2. How to manage it in the short term and for the long
  1. Publishing & Scholarship:
    1. What help exists to review manuscripts prior to submission?
    2. What are good strategies to identify journals? and manage distribution of manuscripts to journals for a good T&P portfolio?
    3. What are single manuscript strategies to project level (multiple manuscripts) to career level strategies to maximize citations/visibility?
    4. What are good strategies to mentor students to viable manuscripts? How to recognize when manuscript is ready to submit?
    5. How important are publications with data collected at Michigan Tech? How do I manage the desire to have students publish (which can slow the process) the desire to get the publication out for review?
    6. Advice on responding to reviews?
    7. How to avoid predatory journals?
  1. Safety:
    1. What are standard university/department protocols and best practices?
    2. What are the committees (IRB, IACUC, ) that can help gain certifications? What guidance exists when preparing a first application?
    3. What resources/points of contact exist for equipment recertifications/calibrations?
    4. What tools are available to help train graduate students/researchers certified to handle lab work and maintain a safety conscious culture in your lab?
    5. How to coordinate training with others on campus and maintain trainings?
  1. Researchers:
    1. What is the best way to recruit/screen/vet students or postdocs?
    2. What is the best strategy to make trial offers? Full offers?
    3. What are effective ways to communicate clear milestones and assess progress?
    4. What are steps and strategies to get student back on track or discontinue poor performing students?
    5. What are the advantages/disadvantages and best practice strategies for including undergraduates in research? How to best engage them?
  1. Teaching:
    1. What are the department and university teaching expectations?
    2. What resources are available for class management, active learning, ? What support is available for teacher creativity and autonomy?
    3. How do I get help for a class that is small but still requires a TA or more time to grade/evaluate?
    4. How to set-up online assignments and quizzes and rubrics to minimize grading time and effort?
    5. How is teaching quality measured? What recognition is available for teaching excellence?
    6. How to obtain feedback from students throughout the semester to make it a valuable experience for all concerned? What are the best strategies for interpreting student feedback to continue to improve for next semester?
    7. What resources exist for formative evaluations outside of teaching evaluations (which should only account for 50% of documented teaching effectiveness in a T&P packet)?
    8. How do I handle students-related issues in class? Regular absence, assignments not turned in, attitude that raises concern, ?
    9. How often should I attend CTL workshops/other so that I maintain a good balance between research/scholarship and teaching?
    10. Where to direct students to opportunities for scholarships and fellowships on and off-campus?
  1. Work/Life Blending & University Culture
    1. What are available strategies/boundaries to ensure healthy and happy balance?
    2. What support networks, community networks, are available?
    3. What childcare/dependent care, leave options, exist?
    4. What dual career/partner engagement resources are available (Shannon Vairo
    5. What university events are most impactful to attend and why (C-cubed, affinity groups, networking, )?
    6. How to meet other faculty to discuss professional and personal development in an informal setting?
    7. How to best deal with seasonal changes, particularly work/life balance throughout the year?
  1. Service:
    1. What are the departmental service expectations for the first year and subsequent years (40%, 40%, 20%, other)? Should be limited or none at the college and university level in the first
    2. What are recommendations on national service benefits (reputation, networking) and balance?
    3. What are recommendations on local community service?
    4. What should new faculty say yes to and what should say no too? Who in my department is the best person to help and guide with respect to identifying service requirements?
    5. How much time to dedicate to service to be a good campus citizen?
  1. Mentoring for Tenure and Promotion:
    1. What individual goals and strategies should the new faculty target to meet or exceed T&P requirements within their department?
    2. What are the department’s formal and informal mentoring/support strategies?
    3. How does T&P differ across units? How best to discern relevant from irrelevant advice?
    4. What other resources exist on campus (i.e. can build trips to external mentors/other into REF proposals)?
    5. Why have people _not_ been promoted (received tenure) in this department? Are there any common themes?
    6. What is the policy on early tenure (number of peer-reviewed publications per year, citations, funding, )?
    7. What is the time line and process for reviews and how can mentors help?
    8. What are the steps and the process for tenure and promotion and at what stages can mentors provide guidance? Faculty Handbook:
    9. NOTE: Please guide the discussion to avoid “exceptional” or embellished, outdated stories.
  1. Networking:
    1. How should I best use start up funding for travel and networking?
    2. What is the value of traveling to meet with program officers?
    3. What is the value of being present at conferences?
    4. What are good strategies to get invited to chair sessions at conferences?
    5. How best to network beyond traveling?

Confidentiality: Please convey that anything requested can be kept strictly confidential. If not specifically requested, these meetings will be documented with sterilized/generalized information in order to identify common trends that our newer faculty encounter. This will enable proactive and strategic programs that create better starting resources for future new faculty.