NextGen Professors Program

Michelle Wang, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate student, at the 2018 Future Professors Institute

Advancing Diverse Future Faculty

NextGen Professors is a career-development program focused on preparing Cornell doctoral students and postdocs for faculty careers across institutional types. The primary audience for this program is doctoral students (in year 3 or beyond) and postdocs from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the professoriate, and/or those with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, access and equity in the academy. Participants are members of a cohort who together engage in series of professional and career development activities including monthly NextGen Professors cohort meetings, Power Mentoring Sessions with faculty, and the Future Professors Institute. Participants also engage in the future faculty development program offerings of CIRTL at Cornell.

Eligibility Criteria

This program is program is focused on advancing diversity and inclusion within the professoriate, with an emphasis on engaging domestic doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy, including, but not limited to, doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars of color and/or those who were first-generation college students, those with disabilities, veterans and those from gender identities. Doctoral students applying to the program should be in Year 3 of their doctoral studies or beyond.


2018-2019 Application Cycle

Application packages due: October 10, 2018
Decisions released mid-October 2018

Application Instructions

Learn more and apply

NextGen Professors Meeting & Event Schedule: 2018-2019

  • October 29 (4:00-5:30pm): Navigating Academia Professionally and Personally 
  • November 29 (4:00-5:30pm): Creating & Leveraging Peer Colleague Network Groups
  • December 12 (4:00-5:30pm): Teaching and Your Professional Online Presence
  • January 31 (4:00-5:30pm): Taking Charge of Your Professional Timeline
  • February 19 (4:00-5:30pm): Power Mentoring Session with Current Faculty: Understanding the Socialization of First-Year Faculty 
  • March 13 (4:00-5:30pm): Power Mentoring Session with Current Faculty
  • April 16 (4:00-5:30pm): Refining Your Application Package
  • May 8 (4:30-6:00pm): Power Mentoring Session with Current Faculty: Developing Your Tenure and Promotion Plan

For those remaining on campus post-commencement:


NextGen Professors Program logo with subtitle reading Advancing Diverse Future Faculty

Learn about the cohorts participating in the NextGen Professors program at Cornell. These talented graduate students and postdocs span the major subject areas of humanities, social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences and engineering. 

Objectives and Outcomes

The objectives and outcomes for NextGen Professors map to the four focus areas of the Graduate School’s professional development framework, Pathways to Success.

Pathways to Success logo with text reading: Navigate, Build, Create, Prepare

Navigate Academia

  • Learn to productively and professionally interact with faculty, peers, and others
  • Seek to understand the terminology, policies, and organizational structures of academic institutions 
  • Identify and leverage resources to support your preparation as future faculty  
  • Establish intellectual and social communities, and professional networks  
  • Generate insights on the unspoken rules of operation and politics of academia, especially at a department level
  • Understand the challenges that one might face as a new faculty member who may be one of few or the only from specific social identity groups 
  • Understand various institutional types & various faculty career pathways within those types of institutions

Build Your Skills

  • Development of skills that will be transferable to academic and non-academic careers 
  • More in depth development of skills that will prepare future faculty in the areas of research, teaching and mentoring, communications, and leadership and management 

Create Your Plan

  • Create a dynamic Individual Development Plan
    • Understand yourself and your priorities
    • Identify resources and areas of development 
    • Develop goals and a timeline
    • Follow through with your plan
    • Reflect on your achievements and growth; and reevaluate your plan periodically to make adjustments as your interests, skills, and goals evolve 

Prepare for Your Career

  • Application materials mapped to specific institutional types of interest
    • CV 
    • Cover Letter 
    • Research Statement  
    • Teaching Statement 
    • Diversity Statement 
  • Preparation for campus interviews, job talks, and negotiations around start-up packages, facilities and equipment, teaching load, etc.   


This initiative is co-sponsored by the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement and CIRTL at Cornell. It is also supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1647094 (AGEP CIRTL), and by the ETS/CGS Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Please contact Graduate School Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement Sara Xayarath Hernández ( or CIRTL at Cornell Executive Director Colleen McLinn ( with questions about this opportunity.

Go to Application Information