CfA – Early Career Astronomers workshop

Banner with the CfA logo saying "Early career astronomers & their supporters workshop series". On the right a cartoon of a PhD student balancing PhD topics such as imposter syndrome, jobs, writing etc. is shown

Welcome to this page for the “early-career astronomers & their supporters workshop series” organized at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. Below you will find all the info about the workshop such as: 

  • Why this new workshop series?
  • List of past & upcoming workshops 
  • List of (community) collected resources 
  • Contributors & Organizers 
  • How to contribute or provide feedback. 

Why this new workshop series? 

It is particularly important, yet challenging, for CfA’s Early Career Astronomers (ECAs) to connect and learn how to navigate the academic system in permanent evolution (e.g., responding to pandemic, climate change and diversity crises). Securing the next job, building a mentoring network, finding support at work while ultimately developing a sustainable behavior is important, yet challenging, particularly for underrepresented minorities in astronomy. This CfA workshop series will consist of multiple practical and interactive discussion sessions and has the aim to provide (1) practical resources, tools and (soft) skills that are important for CfA’s ECAs (2) build a (peer) support network and, (3) discuss common challenges such as imposter syndrome, work/life balance and feeling overwhelmed. The series will focus around early career astronomers, but CfA’s “senior” astronomers are also welcome and will be actively recruited to participate and share their experiences in (breakout room) discussions and/or panels.

List of past & upcoming workshops:

  • Feb 15  2PM-3PM, Sarah Rugheimer: Imposter Syndrome
    slides: Impostor Syndrome Summary Resources Sarah Rugheimer

  • March 1 2PM-3PM, Pratt Auditorium: Panel on Parents in Astronomy


  • March 7 5:30PM-6:30PM, Mental Health workshop for PhD students by Ellen Finch.

  • March 29 2PM-3PM, Philips Auditorium: Erica Nelson, “How not to hire jerks (and why)”

  • April 12 2PM-3PM

  • April 26 2PM-3PM: Workshop on Building a Website

Before Spring 2023

  •  May 18th 4PM-6PM, Philips Auditorium:  Mental health & Mindfulness [PhD students only]
    Workshop speakers: Ellen Finch
    Hosts: Juliana Garcia-Mejia, Floor Broekgaarden
  • June 22, 1-2:30 PM, Philips Auditorium: Applying for PostDoc positions and fellowships
    Session discussing how job applications work, difference between fellowship and standard PD, what to consider before applying this fall, reference letters etc. with Dave Charbonneau
    –> recording:, slides: Charbonneau_how_to_apply_to_a_postdoc
    Hosts: Floor Broekgaarden

  • August 17, 1PM-2:30, Pratt Auditorium:  Applying for faculty jobs
    A session discussing how job applications work, the difference between fellowship and standard PD, what to consider before applying this fall, reference letters, teaching philosophies etc.
    With Lisa Kewley, and 10+ faculty panellists
    –> recording:, slides: How_to_apply_to_Faculty_jobs_Lisa_Kewley
    hosts: Daniel Eisenstein, Kathy Reeves, Floor Broekgaarden
  • 14 September 3PM-4:00PM, A building Classroom: Graduate Student workshop on (Fellowship) Writing
    Workshop leaders: Harvard GSAS Office for Writing and Fellowships
  • 28 September 3PM-4:30PM Community building / finding your mentoring network
    Workshop speakers: Viviana Acquaviva,
    hosts: Sophia Sanchez-Maes, Floor Broekgaarden
  • November 4 11:00-12:00 PM, Philips Auditorium, “Proposal Writing Tips & Tricks”
    Christina Richey (JPL/AAS)
  • November 4 14:00-15:00 PM, Philips Auditorium, “Proposal Writing Tips & Tricks II: Story Telling Perspective”
    Christina Richey (JPL/AAS)
  • November 7 9:00-10:30 AM, Philips Auditorium, “Let’s talk IDEA”
    Christina Richey (JPL/AAS)
    Slides: click here
    ZOOM recording: click here
  • November 7 15:00-16:00 AM, Philips Auditorium, “Building Resilience Training”
    Christina Richey (JPL/AAS)
  • November 9 2:30PM-4:30PM, Workplace Civility Resources & Support at CfA “
    Workshop speakers: Christina Richey, Lisa Kewley, Seth Avakian, Danielle Farrell, Adam Kleinberger, Marisa Borreggine, Laura Conway, Patricia Brennan, John Raymond:

    -> ZOOM Recording: click here

    -> slides (might require cfa gmail account):


Besides the numerous speakers and panelist, we have a team of “contributors” that take care of the organization of the several workshops. This list includes: 

  • 2023 Spring series: Clara Verges,  Urmila Chadayammuri, 
    Fabio Pacucci, Dian (Pipit) Triani, Weicheng Zang,  Christine Benoit, 
    Douglas Finkbeiner, Juliana Garcia-MejiaKathy Reeves, Sophia Sanchez-Maes, Floor Broekgaarden, Purvang Patel, Daniel Eisenstein, Floor Broekgaarden

  • 2022 Fall series: Christine Benoit, Nancy Brickhouse, Floor Broekgaarden, Nico Carver, Stephanie Dvorkin, Daniel Eisenstein, Douglas FinkbeinerJuliana Garcia-Mejia, Purvang Patel, Kathy Reeves, Sophia Sanchez-Maes

How you can contribute or provide feedback

Interested in helping out? Or do you have any suggestions for workshops we should organize? We very much welcome feedback and suggestions. We list several ways that you can reach out: 

  •  We welcome suggestions and (self-)nominations for speakers and/or workshop topics.  Ping one of the contributors in the list above, or, send your suggestion through this form:, which will be shared with the workshop organizers. 
  • You can send (anonymous) suggestions/feedback through the same form