Building Future Faculty Program

The Program The NC State University Building Future Faculty (BFF) Program is a two day all-expenses paid workshop for doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars who are interested in pursuing academic careers and who are committed to promoting diversity in higher education. The program is targeted to graduate students who are in the dissertation phase and post-doctoral scholars. During the workshop, which is held each spring at NC State University, the participants attend sessions describing life as a faculty member at a research extensive university, expectations of new faculty, and resources available to faculty for help with research and teaching. Participants attend presentations on research and teaching and faculty development, as well as having discussion sessions with current faculty at all levels from assistant to full professor. Each participant is matched with an academic department whose interests closely match their own. The balance of time is spent visiting with this academic department. During these visits participants have the opportunity to meet with faculty to discuss the faculty research programs and learn about the departmental culture. They tour the research facilities and laboratories, meet with  current students, and meet with the department head and the dean of the college in which the department resides. During these in-depth departmental discussions concerning their academic work and career interests participants receive one-on-one advice about preparing for an academic career and may obtain feedback on what parts of their preparation are strong and what parts might need strengthening. This is an invaluable opportunity for both the BFF participants and for the NC State departments to get to know each other. The BFF program encourages applications from graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from groups that are underrepresented in their disciplines. feature_BFF_group_2 The program aims to increase representation of diverse U.S. graduate students and postdoctoral scholars joining the professoriate.

The Building Future Faculty program is not a job placement program. Rather, it is designed to provide invaluable information for graduate students and postdocs preparing for faculty careers.

Who will benefit most from the Building Future Faculty Program?

  • Graduate students and post-docs who are seriously considering faculty careers
  • Graduate students should be far enough along in their dissertation research to make a brief presentation about their research

What will you get out of the Building Future Faculty Program?

  • Behind the scenes view of faculty life and expectations of faculty
  • Experiences of underrepresented faculty, faculty with families, faculty from diverse backgrounds
  • Success strategies for increasing research productivity and navigating academic life
  • Skills development for teaching, networking and public speaking
  • Information and feedback on the application process and materials, such as a CV, cover letter, and research planning
  • Opportunities to interact with faculty in your discipline and other BFF scholars

2016 Program Dates: Wednesday, March 30 – Saturday, April 2, 2016. 

2015 Program Agenda

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • 3:00-3:30 Making the most of relationships over the next three days
  • 3:30-5:00 Presentation skills workshop
  • 7:00 – 8:30 Opening dinner

Thursday, March 19, 2015

  • 8:30-9:00 Welcome and introduction to NC State
  • 9:10-10:05 Thriving in the academy: Work/Life integration and managing multiple priorities
  • 10:20-11:15 Thriving in the academy: Research/scholarly productivity
  • 11:15-11:45 Photos
  • 12:15-1:15 Lunch with department representatives
  • 1:30-5:00 Department visit
  • 6:15-8:30 Dinner with a dean

Friday, March 20, 2015

  • 8:30-9:30 Tour of Hunt Library
  • 9:45-11:45 Workshop on active learning and success strategies for new faculty
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 De-jargonizing your research
  • 2:00-3:00 Grant writing
  • 3:15-5:15 Types of positions, preparing a great application package, tenure and promotion
  • 6:15-8:00 Dinner in downtown Raleigh

Saturday, March 21, 2015

  • 9:00-10:30 Closing breakfast
  • optional activities for those with later flights

Join the Facebook Group Facebook Group for BFF

This program is designed to provide information for graduate students and postdocs preparing for faculty careers. It is not a job placement program.

    • Individuals with the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the university’s continuing commitment to cultural and ethnic diversity
    • 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.
    • Desire an academic teaching career at a research institution
    • Desire to pursue independent research as a faculty member
    • Demonstrate the potential to become a faculty member
    • Availability during the programs dates
Important Dates for BFF 2016 

      • Application Deadline: Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST
      • Program Dates: Wednesday, March 30 – Saturday, April 2, 2016

How to Apply

We strongly encourage you to take your time filling out the application. Be sure to have all the information you need available. Review your responses and check for accuracy.


When the window opens, please read on for instructions. The application form is an online form. If you don’t complete it in one sitting, you may be able to resume filling the form out if you use the same computer and your settings allow cookies. Otherwise you will not be able to resume filling out the form and will have to start over. You will need to attach several items, so please have these ready to upload with the application form:

        • Cover letter
          • Please include a cover letter that describes what you hope to accomplish or gain by participating in the NC State Building Future Faculty Program.  The cover letter should include a brief (two to three sentence) statement about your research interests, your professional goals and professional accomplishments.  Please also include the name and departmental affiliation of three North Carolina State University faculty members you would want to meet during your visit.  Finally, since the Building Future Faculty program focuses on diversity and inclusion, indicate how your research and teaching has enabled you to engage with diverse populations and communities and/or what you would do to promote diversity in higher education.
        • Curriculum Vitae
          • Curriculum Vitae should include your name and contact information, education, employment history, awards and recognition, publication list with entries clearly marked as to whether they are peer reviewed or not, presentations, with invited presentations clearly marked, teaching experience, synergistic activities (e.g., volunteer work, outreach to K-12, service, awards unrelated to career), professional affiliations, patents, funding, and current date.
        • A list of three  (3) professional references and their contact information 

Contact Information For more information contact Dr. Marcia Gumpertz (, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity. Alumni Directory Please see the Building Future Faculty Alumni Directory.

2014 Building Future Faculty Gallery

2016 Advisory Team

  • Ericka Ford, Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science
  • Rosanna Garcia, Business Management
  • Isabel Gimeno, Population Health and Pathobiology
  • Christine Grant, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Alex Graves, Soil Science
  • DeLeon Gray, Leadership, Policy, Adult and Higher Education
  • James Kiwanuka-Tondo, Communication
  • Gary Lackmann, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Tsai Lu Liu, Industrial and Graphic Design
  • Daniel Saloni, Forest Biomaterials

Our Sponsors The 2015 Building Future Faculty Program is sponsored by the NCSU Office of the Provost; the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity; and the Departments of Nuclear Engineering, Molecular Biomedical Sciences, and Statistics.

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