Teaching Post-docs

Fellowships in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) : 3-year post-doctoral position that includes a heavy teaching component.

Discipline Based Education Research (DBER) Fellowship 

PhD required: yes

High School Teaching

Carnie Sandoe is a useful match-making site that can help place you with a school that meets your skills and preferences. For public or private high school jobs, you may be asked to run through a practice lesson with your potential future employers.

Private high schools: You do not need a teaching credential to work in a private high school. Sometimes they will prefer that you have had "legitimate" teaching experience (i.e. you were the instructor of record for a class, or you shadowed a high school teacher). For most, having a PhD is a BIG advantage, even if you don't have teaching experience.

Public high schools: Public high schools do require you to have a secondary single-subject teaching credential. Most universities have a certification program (it's usually something the Education Masters students get on their way to the Masters). A certification usually entails taking certain coursework, completing a certain number of hours of student teaching (usually ~200 for a graduate student), and passing several competency exams. The requirements vary by state. Just like the bar exam, you are only certified to teach in the state where you take your exams.

Phd required: no

Certification required: yes (for public schools)

Lecturer - 4 Year College/University

A full time lecturer might be asked to teach two courses per quarter at UCLA, totaling 6 courses over 9 months.

  • PhD required: yes
  • Postdoc required: no

Science Policy

From "Paths to Science Policy" by James Austin:

"But if you're already in science, the best advice is probably this: Finish your Ph.D. and, as you're writing your dissertation, work on refining your policy-career objectives. Bone up on the areas of policy you're interested in, and home in on a few key questions of contemporary relevance. Consider a policy fellowship, like the ones AAAS offers. Engage people working in the field; these days, with e-mail, they usually aren't too difficult to contact. Respect their time, but don't be shy. Develop a dialog and a professional network. Especially if you have a strong publication record, your status as a scientist makes you relevant to the debate from the outset."

Phd required: recommended


Public Outreach: You can find public outreach coordinator jobs at colleges and universities as well as institutions (national labs) and instrumentation groups (e.g. Chandra X-ray Telescope, for astronomers). These positions typically involve organizing large "fun" events or curating displays of artwork or educational demonstrations. The focus for public outreach is typically on creating a program that caters to what is popular in the field at that time.

K-12 Outreach: In contrast to public outreach, K-12 outreach involves much more collaboration with K-12 teachers. This can include working with teachers to create educational opportunities for the students (tours of campus/labs, presentation of educational demos, etc). Especially for older students (high schoolers), outreach should include professional development opportunities (research partnerships between high schoolers, high school teachers, and graduate students/faculty, panel discussions on pursuing careers in science, etc). K-12 outreach also typically includes a diversity awareness element, and outreach efforts can be focused on low-income schools and/or typically underrepresented students in STEM (women and minorities).

Phd required: recommended

Journalism/Science Writing

Blogging:  Absolutely anyone can have a blog. Start practicing your science writing by creating a blog on a platform of your choice. Click here for a list of the best blogging platforms available to you now (most are free).When applying for a job as a science writer, employers will often ask for the link to your blog to get a sample of your writing. Make sure it's easy to navigate, and professional-looking. 

Magazines/NewspapersYou can be hired as a staff writer or editor for a magazine or newspaper (most are published online as well as in print). You can also work as a free-lance writer, and submit pieces as you write them. For a list of popular magazines/journals/newspapers currently accepting submissions (and submission guidelines), click here.

Journal Editor: Jobs in science writing can lead to a position as an editor, either for a magazine/newpaper/online blog or for a scholarly journal. 

PhD required: no

Community College Teaching

If you are leaving graduate school and want to teach at a university or college, you can either 1) complete a few post-doc positions, 2) become a lecturer at a university, or 3) become a faculty member at a community college.

PhD required: yes


Exhibit Curator: Depending on your field, a museum may require you to have a degree in museum curation in addition to a PhD. This is usually the case if your field requires the handling of delicate/rare/old/expensive exhibit materials. Usually though, a PhD will be enough. Museums also recommend that you get experience volunteering at a museum before applying for a job. It's fairly easy to volunteer during graduate school. Once hired, your job might entail 1) acquiring exhibit materials, 2) designing exhibits, and/or  3) evaluating the effectiveness of exhibits.