Information for Applicants
Thank you for your interest in our position. Below you will find some information about our department as well as suggested guidelines for writing the letter of application and research plan. We hope this will help you provide us with the information we need to best evaluate your application.
About the Department
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at DePauw University focuses on a student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Our curriculum, introduced in 2001, provides an innovative approach to the learning of chemistry and biochemistry. At the time of its introduction few schools strayed from the historical approach of two semesters of general chemistry followed by two semesters of organic chemistry. Since then a number of other schools have followed suit with organic first or other non-traditional curricula. Our curriculum is distinguished by its flexibility in regard to the order in which students may take the core courses – starting with either introductory organic or inorganic courses. Students can take their first biochemistry course as early as the second semester if they so choose.
Research is an important part of our students’ education and all faculty members in our department engage in research with our undergraduate students. Each spring we invite all majors and all students in our core courses to participate in a research matching process. This process is designed to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in research and we have 20-40 students begin research this way each year. Students who have worked in a faculty research lab previously can continue doing so without participating in the matching process. Once students are matched, they begin research with that faculty member the following fall. Our emphasis with these research projects is always on the student’s learning.
We typically welcome 20-25 new majors to our department each year. The majority of these are biochemistry majors. Our students have a wide variety of interests ranging from computational chemistry, to materials, to medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, and more. Graduates of our program attend medical school or other health-related areas of study, others continue on to graduate school in a chemically-related field, and some elect to find work.
Letter of Application
Please tell us about your interest in teaching undergraduate students at a small, liberal arts university. We are especially interested in hearing about your approach to creating inclusive classroom and laboratory experiences, including the markers you intend to use to measure success and, if applicable, evidence that you have achieved your goals from past teaching experiences. We recommend that your letter of application be no more than 1500 words.
We will be looking for candidates who:
1) are passionate about teaching undergraduates;
2) demonstrate clear knowledge of, experience with, and interest in diversity that results from different identities, such as ethnic, socioeconomic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, cultural and religious differences;
3) appreciate structural inequities that may impact student preparation and participation;
4) provide specific, measurable plans to make learning attainable for all students in the classroom, teaching lab, and research lab; and
5) provide specific examples of inclusive pedagogies, how they were used in the past or how they will be used in the future.
The research plan should introduce a single research project using language appropriate for an undergraduate audience. Please include a description of what students can expect to learn by participating in this project and why this project is appropriate for student learning in an undergraduate, liberal arts environment. The purpose of this research plan is to explain your research ideas in a way that undergraduate students can understand, that will motivate the students to want to work with you, and that will ultimately provide the students with an excellent research experience. We recommend that your research plan be no more than 1500 words and up to four pages including graphics.