This page is a collection of resources that can be helpful for early-career astronomers & their supporters. Are there resources missing? Please email: floor.broekgaarden[@]cfa.harvard.edu. Feel free to share this website or any of the resources listed below with your network.
Links of other websites/groups that collect Astronomy resources
- Astrobetter: Many blogs with resources for astronomers on the astrobetter website: https://www.astrobetter.com/
- The early-career astronomers community facebook group (for undergraduates to, and incl., postdocs) https://www.facebook.com/groups/582367049172861
- A collection of peer-reviewed papers, blogs, and resources for women in STEM:http://www.sarahrugheimer.com/Women_in_STEM_Resources.html
- Twitter thread with useful tools and websites for finding, reading and keeping track of (ArXiv) papers in Astronomy:
- Twitter thread by Victoria Grinberg on writing (conference) abstracts: https://twitter.com/vicgrinberg/status/1378277567602495491
- Another twitter thread on writing abstracts https://twitter.com/elvisha9/status/1396911495766806531
- Template for writing paper abstracts: https://www.fabriziogilardi.org/resources/papers/good-abstracts.pdf
- List of useful phrases to use in academic writing (esp. useful for non-native speakers of English, I think): https://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/Free+Download+-+Useful+Phrases.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1543172-p177775190
- A collection of writing resources from Perdue University https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html
- The writing center – tools and tips about everything writing related: https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/
- A free coursera course on Writing in Sciences https://www.coursera.org/learn/sciwrite
- Academic Phrasebank by University of Manchester https://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk
- Twitter thread with useful resources for academic writing: https://twitter.com/IBJIYONGI/status/1549450233830055937
- Another twitter thread with useful academic writing resources: https://twitter.com/OpenAcademics/status/1547322513759252480
Making a personal website
- How to make an academic personal website, blog on astrobetter by Emily Moravec: https://www.astrobetter.com/blog/2021/05/04/creating-a-website-to-promote-your-scientific-work/
- ArXiv article on this: https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.08553
- BAAS article: https://baas.aas.org/pub/2020i0332/release/1
Mental Health resources
- for graduate students from astrobites https://astrobites.org/2019/08/23/mental-health-in-grad-school/?fbclid=IwAR2v0-HWl6MUcY3VPGZ5gfB_3Ihv2Cf99FfXerSliSrkZXd5o0Z9CWFFRqk
- Posters on mental health by Zoe J Ayres https://www.zjayres.com/posters?fbclid=IwAR3nCmR6iT0bgHGccN9dYkm9YwxONKNFXdhTFlAmvTJLRSvSV322qPisVvQ
- Sarah Rugheimer and Sarah Ballard’s “Self-care with Drs. Sarah” podcast is geared toward promoting mental health and well-being at all stages of academia, as well as tips on navigating the academic environment.
- Mental wellbeing in Astronomy resources by Abbie Stevens: https://abigailstevens.com/mental-wellbeing-academia/
- Resources and ideas for mental well-being with crafts/arts:
Crafting Resourcesby Soheb Mandhai.
- Talk on Imposter Syndrome by Sarah Rugheimer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=natKv595gUQ&ab_channel=SarahRugheimer
- UK: Something worth knowing about on the theme of work-life balance is the UK’s Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, which is designed to be flexible and is available to be held part-time. You’re eligible if you have a caring responsibility or health issue.
- Yoga websites/links:
- Yoga with Kassandra
yoga with adriene is great! https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene/videos
Laruga Glaser: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuQ84RlDfj6gPFp7s-xW14g
Applying to PhDs resources:
- Melinda Soares-Furtado, has created a Discord for undergraduate students who are applying the coming year(s) to PhD programs and who would benefit from connecting with a digital network of grad school applicants (including current PhD students, postdocs and professor who can answer questions.). You can email her if you want to get an invite to this Discord: mmsoares[@]wisc.edu.
- Find astronomy jobs through: https://jobregister.aas.org/ (usually peaks around September/October in announcements). The other option is to look at department websites.
- A document on “applying for PhD positions in Astronomy & Astrophysics”. This document is written by (former) PhD students and gives tips and tricks on how to find, and apply to PhD positions. It also shares some experiences and advices from former students. See: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mHZFVskJ8uEF5xdMnsq1LRMDaQtUVggPLWg5uUNSxD4/edit?usp=sharing – the departments information is European focused, but many of the advices are more general
- USA PhD application timeline & expectations, by Mia de los Reyes on: https://sites.astro.caltech.edu/~madlr/index.html#resources
- NSF GRFP: website with examples of applications to the NSF graduate research fellowship grant https://www.alexhunterlang.com/nsf-fellowship
- GRE requirement grad schools: Here’s a rough list with universities and whether they dropped the general/physics requirement https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19UhYToXOPZkZ3CM469ru3Uwk4584CmzZyAVVwQJJcyc/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=105945932062731719388 – this is also a nice spreadsheet that lists astronomy departments in the USA
- Here are some interview tips for US-based astro grad programs from Mia de los Reyes: https://twitter.com/MiaDoesAstro/status/1482947935562350599?fbclid=IwAR0UjHYBV1XUyQbs2zPOvV4gG42-EsrQ-k3YhhmjDGcUHaUkuVh7rMmPwtw
- Jennifer Burt compiled a list of PhD programs at places w/ exoplanet-focused faculty. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nbuc9yzjK9KooiFb73b6KH5UwWFcSd-A8soz2pq0Ffg/edit?usp=sharing
Applying to Summer schools/internships resources
- astrobetter website with opportunities: https://www.astrobetter.com/wiki/Summer+Internships
- ESO internships: http://www.eso.org/…/FeSt-overview/ESOstudentship.html
- Document with tips on how to find research opportunities post BSc / Baccalaureate: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yQFGidu6PL_Oif5jYfK4p1Xx7jXq96QYSccjdI8zGV8/edit?usp=sharing
- twitter list of summer internships: https://twitter.com/astrocaits/status/1483271895961190403
Postdoc Application resources (note that all advice might be biased, or work for some but not everyone)
see also https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1549572711587819520.html for an unroll of the original twitter thread
First some general overviews on the application process:
- presentation on “How to apply for PostDocs (in the USA)” by David Charbonneau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTc8_5B6zzU&ab_channel=HarvardAstronomyVideo, & slides are at Charbonneau_how_to_apply_to_a_postdoc
- Great PDF of presentation slides on “how to apply for PhD/PostDocs by Sera Markoff”, with many advices: how2apply_bhi_slides https://www.dropbox.com/s/bxqtqislktyaif9/how2apply_bhi_slides.pdf?dl=0
- Great PDF slides of “how to apply for postdocs” by Richard Alexander (U. of Leicester) https://www.astro.le.ac.uk/~rda5/rda_jobs_talk_2019.pdf and more resources on Richard’s website: https://www.astro.le.ac.uk/~rda5/jobs_2019.html
- Great slides on “How to apply for postdoc positions in Astronomy” by Mary Loli Martinez Aldama (CFT/Poland) and Dhanya Nair (JIVE/NL) astro.udec.cl/titans/postdoc
- guide with do’s and don’t on resumes & cover letters (source: OCS Harvard): https://cdn-careerservices.fas.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/161/2022/04/undergrad_resumes_and_cover_letters-1.pdf
- Guide by Bryan Gaensler & Sarah Maddison on “how to apply for postdocs” https://www.dunlap.utoronto.ca/~bgaensler/papers/gaensler_maddison_jobs_2012.pdf
- the many many helpful career resources by Astrobetter astrobetter.com/wiki/Possible+ Which includes many blogs and resources for careers outside of academia!! (which is so important!)
Some Astrobetter blogs that I found helpful:
- Bridge, 2019, Honing your Hubble Fellowship Application.
- Jacobson-Galan, 2021, So You Want to be a Professor of Astronomy?
- Very useful thread on postdoc application advice on twitter by Malena Rice!!:
- slides for “PostDoc job applications “don’t panic” guide” by Chris Blake astronomy.swin.edu.au/~cblake/JobApp
How to find jobs:
- AAS job register
- astrophysics job rumor mill from last year and ALSO two and three years ago — some jobs are only offered every 2-3 years
- websites of depts you’re really interested in
- talk to people (profs, current postdocs) at places you’re interested in
- talk to people here who have been postdocs there in the past
- your advisor
- ask the grad students who graduated 1-2 years ahead of you
- some fields maintain their own lists, for example, Gravitational Waves has: https://t.co/9QQXsFk9IM created by the LIGO collaboration
- guide with do’s and don’t on resumes & cover letters (source: OCS Harvard): cdn-careerservices.fas.harvard.edu/wp-content/upl
- Samples of Application letters for research-focused institutions, research & teaching institutions and teaching only institutions https://career.ucsf.edu/phds/academic-careers/academic-samples#Samples
- log on how to write a postdoc cover letter https://academicpositions.com/career-advice/how-to-write-an-outstanding-postdoc-cover-letter
- See “the interview” section in dunlap.utoronto.ca/~bgaensler/pap
- a twitter thread with examples: https://twitter.com/astro_catherine/status/1445185385525514243?s=20&t=glTuqzoipo3ttXvLgkqUdw
- Useful twitter thread by Gourav Khuller with advices for what to do when you are 6 months away from PostDoc applications: https://twitter.com/isskywalker/status/1367150122543570944
### country specific resources ###
- Very useful website with resources for applying for the NHFP (“Hubble”): https://www.nhfp-equity.org/resources-for-applicants
- Very useful thread on postdoc application advice on twitter by Malena Rice: https://twitter.com/malena_rice/status/1545418738274631681
- Joshua Pepper, Oliqia Krupinska, Keivan Stassun and Dawn Gelino (2018) paper on “What Does a Successful Postdoctoral Fellowship Publication Record Look Like?” (analyzing publication record of successfull applicants) https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.09505
GRAPPA postdoctoral fellowship for an independent research position for three years in the areas of astroparticle physics, cosmology and gravitation.
Veni fellowship competitive Dutch national fellowship for early career PDs.
Vidi fellowship competitive Dutch national fellowship towards leadership position.
Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions , European fellowship towards leadership position.
- For Spain, there are the Juan de la Cierva-formacion for early career post-doc (you need to have already your PhD degree at the moment of the application) and
- Juan de la Cierva-Incorporacion (senior post-doc).
- For institutes in Catalunya, there is the Beatriu de Pinos
GOOD LUCK !
Faculty Application resources
- Astrobetter Post: “Navigating the Faculty Job Search”
- Astrobites post: so you want to be a Professor of Astronomy?
- Presentation by Lisa Kewley “How to apply for Faculty jobs”: https://youtu.be/QEYqqyONGOU
- Slides of the presentation by Lisa Kewley above can be found at http://www.broekgaarden.nl/floor/wordpress/cfa-eca-workshop/
Mentoring networks that early-career researchers can join:
- SN network: https://supernovafoundation.org/
- Resources gathered by CSWA: https://aas.org/comms/cswa/resources/mentoring
- Mentoring resource for students/mentees to help set up a mentoring network, and set expectations with your mentor(s): myumi.ch/K4zPD, By U. of Michigan
- Mentoring resource for faculty for mentoring graduate students: myumi.ch/R58Oq. By U. of Michigan
- Effective mentoring practices guide, by Brown University; https://www.brown.edu/sheridan/teaching-learning-resources/mentoring-resources/effective-mentoring-practices
- Resource page for effective mentoring in STEMM: https://www.nap.edu/resource/25568/interactive/
- Mentoring resources list by astrobetter: https://www.astrobetter.com/wiki/Mentoring+in+Astronomy+and+Geophysics
- one of my favorite mentoring documents: “How to get the mentoring you want: a guide for graduate students”, by U. of Michigan. colorado.edu/graduateschool/sites/default/files/attached-files/mentoring.pdf
Giving talks / public speaking
- Blog “The Art of Public Speaking for Scientists” by Heloise Stevance: https://www.hfstevance.com/blog/publicspeaking
Tips for making Posters
- What does success mean to you https://astrobites.org/2018/08/17/what-does-success-mean-to-you/
- And an ArXiv article on this topic: https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.09963
- Find conferences through: https://www1.cadc-ccda.hia-iha.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/en/meetings/