Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Finding and landing an academic position in materials science in the US

The process of applying for a faculty position requires considerable preparation and thought. Seeking the advice and support of mentors will help during this rigorous and hopefully rewarding experience.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Roach, M. & Sauermann, H. The declining interest in an academic career. PLOS ONE 12, e0184130 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Yoder, B. L. Engineering by the Numbers (American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC, 2017).

  3. 3.

    National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2017. Special Report NSF 19-301. (National Science Foundation, Alexandria, VA, 2018).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Sauermann, H. & Roach, M. Why pursue the postdoc path? Science 352, 663–664 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Kloxin, A. M. Addressing the leaky pipeline through mentoring and support: a personal perspective. Nat. Rev. Mater. 4, 287–289 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Committee on Frontiers of Materials Research, National Materials and Manufacturing Board, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences & National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Frontiers of Materials Research: A Decadal Survey (National Academies Press, 2019)

  7. 7.

    Boerner, L. K. Diversity: structural approach. Nature 515, 597–598 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Somerville, L. H. et al. How to put your best foot forward in faculty job interviews. Science (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Hawker, C. J. Effective presentations—a must. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 3780–3781 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Woolston, C. Feeling overwhelmed by academia? You are not alone. Nature 557, 129–131 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The author thanks D. Pak of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Materials Research Laboratory and E. Sciaky of UCSB Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships for help in identifying resources for this article.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael L. Chabinyc.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Additional information

Related links

Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education:

Materials Research Society:

NextProf Nexus 2019:

The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society:

University of California Diversity:

University of Delaware Future Faculty Workshop:

University Materials Council:

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chabinyc, M.L. Finding and landing an academic position in materials science in the US. Nat Rev Mater 4, 509–512 (2019).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing