Department of Mathematics
Duke University : Graduate School : Dept of Math : Math Graduate program
Applying for Academic Jobs

Applying for Academic Jobs


The Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship competition which has a due date of the third Wedensday in October signals the start of the job application season. Details can be found in NSF 14-582 (a link is on the web page). In short, you need to be a US citizen , and find someone at another institution who will be your postdoctoral mentor. (Your advisor can help you with this.) You write a short research proposal, and arrange for your host, your advisor and one other person to upload letters to Fastlane. What is in for you is full support for two years, or spread out over three years with one year of teaching (usually the better option.)


MathJobs is the main site that you will use to find jobs and to apply to them. Some tenure track job listings have deadlines as early as November 1, but that it is not hard cutoff. Schools can only begin to review applications after the deadline has passed. If you have your materials uploaded before the Thanksgiving Break you will be fine.

Some jobs are on Academic Jobs Online but that is rare in math.

AMS Employment Services has a number of resources for applicants. They have their own listings called Employment Information in the Mathematical Sciences.

The Employment Center at the AMS Annual Meeting allows applicants to schedule interviews with registered schools. Schools that emphasize teaching often use this mechanism. This is less frequently used by schools that emphasize research, but the annual meeting is still a great way to make contact with people from those schools.


Your application consists of several parts:
  • Your CV is a brief summary of your academic and professional achievements and experiences. Lengthy advice can be found at U. Washington Career Services page .
  • Research Statement. This summarizes the work you did during graduate school and gives some indication of your future research directions. Very few people who read your file will be experts in what you do so you should do your best to make the early parts of the discussion accessible to a broad audience. A more articulate description
  • Teaching Statement. This describes the teaching duties you had in graduate school and includes information from your evaluations to document your performance. Jan 2015 Notices Article by James Oxley.
  • Three of four letters of recommendation, including a letter that addresses your teaching.
  • Cover Letter. Even when you submit through MathJobs, it remains customary to write a letter to the employer from whom you seek a job. It is not clear that if it is worth the effort to write a custom letter for each school, but many people do this.
Some helpful advice:

2006 Notices Article Written when mathjobs was a new thing.

The LSU Math Department has lengthy advice on the process.

Sample application materials

Duke University : Graduate School : Dept of Math : Math Graduate program