Academic Job Search Documents

Teaching Philosophy

A teaching philosophy (or teaching statement) is a written statement providing an overview and explanation of your pedagogy and approach to learning in the classroom. Your teaching philosophy should demonstrate reflection on your teaching experience, as well as share key elements of your teaching style and classroom environment.

Here are key questions to consider when writing your teaching philosophy:

  • What are your goals for student learning?
  • How will you enact those goals? How will you assess those goals?
  • How will you create an inclusive environment?
  • How does my teaching philosophy fit in with the mission of the department and institution?
  • What motivates you to learn about this subject? Why do you teach?
  • How do you know you’ve taught successfully?
  • What do I believe or value about teaching and learning?
  • How do your research and disciplinary context influence your teaching?
  • How do the identities and backgrounds of both you and your students affect teaching and learning in your classes?
  • How do you account for different styles of learning?

Research Statement

A research statement is designed to give the search committee an overview of your research- past, present and future. Your statement should include key elements of your research, but also include how your research might fit with the goals of the department and/or institution.

Here are questions to consider when writing your research statement:

  • What question(s) are you trying to answer through your research?
  • Why is this question so important to your field?
  • What existing research has your work built upon?
  • How have your past and present research answered that question? How will your future research answer that question?
  • What motivates you to study your topic?
  • What are some techniques you have successfully used?
  • How can you summarize your results?
  • What are some challenges in your research that you overcame?
  • How can you involve students in your research?
  • How can your research bring in grants or funding?
  • What resources will you need to be successful? (Finances, equipment, etc.)

Teaching Portfolio

A teaching portfolio documents your experience as a teacher or instructor throughout your career. A teaching portfolio provides concrete evidence of your effectiveness as a teacher and helps you to track your progress as you improve and develop your skills as an instructor.

As the academic job market gets more competitive, a teaching portfolio can help you stand out by showcasing the breadth and depth of your teaching abilities. It provides evidence to support your teaching statement or philosophy and gives a search committee a good understanding of how you will “fit” with the department.

For more information about teaching portfolios, download our teaching portfolio document and visit


  • Make sure you are communicating clearly and concisely- most search committees will be reviewing these statements quickly!
  • Your statements are a personal reflection, make sure to write in the first person. This is your statements, make sure it is a reflection of your work.
  • Providing examples will help you illustrate your teaching/research to the search committee in a more tangible way.
  • Have multiple people review your statements including those familiar with your field. Faculty mentors and peers can provide essential feedback about the style of your statements and expectations within the field.

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