The BFF Program

The Building Future Faculty (BFF) Program is an all expenses paid 2 day workshop for grad students and post docs interested in pursuing a career in academia.  The program is hosted at North Carolina State University.  To be accepted into this program, you must be one or two years away from being on the job market.

 

How the Program Works

Each student is matched with a department that most closely relates to their research area.  During your visit, you will discuss with faculty members in your area about their department, research, and teaching duties.  There are also seminars that you will have with the full cohort.

 

My Experience

My research area is Statistics so I met with multiple members of the Statistics department at NC State.  I spoke with someone about the types of positions in the department.  I had lunch with one of the faculty members.  I also met with someone who looked over my CV and gave me critiques that would help me when I was on the job market.  At the end of my department visit I presented my research to the grad students their at their grad student seminar.

 

When I wasn’t touring the department, I was with the full cohort learning about teaching practices, grant writing, and promotion.  It was at the BFF Program that I learned about active learning and changed my teaching practices.  This is what helped me land my dream job.

 

As you know, I’m a Lecturer, which is a 100% teaching position.  I actually learned through the BFF Program that I was not a good fit for a tenure track position at a research school.  This knowledge gave me the freedom to spend more time improving my teaching and landing my dream job as a Lecturer.

 

The BFF Program was an amazing learning experience and I think that every grad student should have the chance to experience what life is like as a full time faculty member before they graduate.

 

How to Apply for the BFF Program

You can get complete information here:  https://oied.ncsu.edu/divweb/building-future-faculty-program/

 

  1. Complete the application form

  2. Submit a cover letter

  3. Submit a CV

  4. Submit a research and teaching statement

You may notice that these are the same components for applying for an actual job in academia.

 

Who Should Apply for the BFF Program

Below is the Selection Criteria listed on the website above:

The Building Future Faculty program is designed to provide information for graduate students and post-docs preparing for faculty careers. It is not a job placement program. Those who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply.

individuals with the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to NC State’s continuing commitment to cultural and ethnic diversity;

individuals in a doctoral or post-doctoral program corresponding to a discipline at NC State;

post-docs and graduate students who have begun their dissertation research;

those who desire an academic teaching career at a research institution;

those who desire to pursue independent research as a faculty member;

those who demonstrate the potential to become a faculty member;

availability during the program dates.

— https://oied.ncsu.edu/divweb/building-future-faculty-program/

 

I think that the BFF Program is a great opportunity that is available for grad students of all majors.