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Applicant FAQ

Most questions that applicants to MAA Project NExT have are answered by this FAQ. If you have a question that is not answered here, please ask the current director of MAA Project NExT. 

 

 

FAQ

Eligibility

 

  1.  What type of applicants are typically accepted into MAA Project NExT ?

    MAA Project NExT is designed for faculty in the mathematical sciences who are early in their careers. The vast majority of Fellows apply to the program in the spring before they start their first or second year of full-time teaching. In selecting Fellows, we look for applicants who have...

    • recently completed a doctorate (in mathematics, statistics, mathematics education, or any math-intensive field).

    • minimal full-time post-secondary teaching experience. In measuring "teaching experience" we consider visiting professorships and teaching-intensive post-docs, but not research-intensive post-docs, summer teaching, K-12 teaching, or teaching done prior to the completion of a doctorate. Successful tenure-track applicants from R1 institutions have typically completed a few post-docs.

    • obtained a full-time teaching position in the mathematical sciences in an American or Canadian institution of higher education (including community colleges).

    • the potential to benefit from participation in MAA Project NExT.

    • additional qualities (experiences, attitudes, ideas, and leadership abilities) that would contribute to a cohort of NExT'ers.

    If you are interested in applying to MAA Project NExT but don't fit the traditional applicant profile, we are happy to provide a quick assessment of how your background would be viewed. Please email the director (projectnext@maa.org) with the following information:

     

    • the date you received your PhD (month and year) along with the area.

    • a listing (by semester, quarter or term) of all courses you have taught since completing your doctorate (including the number of sections, if you taught multiple sections).

    • any additional information you think would help us understand your particular situation.

  2. My Ph.D. is in statistics or operations research or mathematics education, rather than pure or applied mathematics. Am I eligible to apply to MAA Project NExT?

    Yes. Your Ph.D. can be in any one of the mathematical sciences, which include statistics, operations research, and mathematics education, as well as all fields of pure and applied mathematics. [Please see also if in non-math dept FAQ.]

  3. I teach in a department of mathematics and computer science, but my Ph.D. is in computer science, and my teaching consists entirely of computer science courses. Am I eligible for MAA Project NExT?

    Sadly, no. Since the workshop program deals primarily with teaching and research in the mathematical sciences, MAA Project NExT is not appropriate for someone with a Ph.D. in computer science who teaches only computer science.

  4. My Ph.D. is in one of the mathematical sciences, but my faculty appointment is not in a mathematics department. Am I eligible for MAA Project NExT?

    The MAA Project NExT program is designed primarily for people who teach in departments of mathematics or statistics. If you have a joint appointment, we would ordinarily expect at least half of it to be in a math/stats department. Other configurations are possible, however, including appointments to multidisciplinary departments or divisions. If you are uncertain about whether you meet this criterion, please contact us directly. [Please see also for stats/OR/mathed PhD FAQ.]

  5. I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to apply to MAA Project NExT?

    Yes, provided you will be teaching at a college or university in the United States or Canada (which are the countries served by the Mathematical Association of America).

  6. I will be in a postdoctoral or non-tenure-track position. Am I eligible to apply to MAA Project NExT?

    Yes. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of institutions who are willing to support their postdocs in applying to MAA Project NExT - and we welcome your application. However, if you will have a postdoctoral position that involves no teaching at all, then we recommend that you wait until you have a more teaching-intensive position. 

    See also the FAQ on typical successful applicants, above, for more information about how we look at teaching experience. 

  7. What happens if I have a family event or other commitment that prevents me from attending one of the three meetings that are part of the MAA Project NExT Fellowship year? Can I be a NExT'er anyway, or defer my application or acceptance until the following year?

    The three conferences are vital both for the content of the events and for bonding with other Fellows. As noted in the attendance FAQ, attending the first summer workshop and MathFest in the Fellowship year is absolutely essential to be a MAA Project NExT Fellow, because it is there that the majority of the Fellowship activities take place. Therefore, if something comes up that results in an accepted applicant being unable to attend the first summer workshop and MathFest, it is unfortunately the case that s/he cannot be a MAA Project NExT Fellow for that year.

    In the event that an accepted applicant is, because of some emergency, unable to be a MAA Project NExT Fellow, s/he should consider applying to be in the program the following year (if s/he is eligible then). Applicants who are applying a second time should see the FAQ question addressing this. MAA Project NExT does not allow deferments. Because it remains a very popular program (see the acceptance rate FAQ), we try to ensure that as many people as possible are able to participate, which makes allowing deferments very difficult to manage.

    If you are aware of a personal situation or professional commitment that will prevent you from attending any of the three meetings, then you should not apply to MAA Project NExT this year.

  8.  Are there other professional development opportunities available for mathematics faculty?

    Check to see whether there is a Section NExT in your region. Section NExTs are regional versions of MAA Project NExT that are sponsored by the MAA's geographic Sections. You can find information about MAA Sections on the Section webpage and a list of Sections that currently have Section NExTs on the Section NExT webpage. In addition, the MAA Committee for Early Career Mathematicians sponsors activities at the national meetings that are open to all early career mathematicians.

Applications

  1. What should I put in my one-page vita?

    The first objective of the one-page vita is to tell us who you are and where you've been, so that we don't have to piece together your life history from your personal statement. It also helps us to gauge how much teaching experience you have [See typical applicant FAQ.]
    Beyond that, we're interested in whatever you consider important - teaching experience, papers and conference presentations, awards, etc.

  2. Personal statement (Max 2p.)

    First things first: don't just submit your the Teaching Philosophy you used to get your job. You don't need to sell yourself. Instead, we want your honest reflections on teaching. What experiences have you had? What do your classrooms look like now? What methods work for you - and how do you know they work? What teaching methods are you itching to try? How have you worked to support women and under-represented minorities in your classes and in the wider STEM community? What do you hope to get out of the program? The more experience you have, the more we're expecting deep reflections on what those experiences have taught you. In short: tell us stories about your career in teaching: what made you the teacher you are, and where you hope that story goes next.

  3. How can I describe my research interests in only 1 page?

    Prove every result. Just kidding. We realize that most people can't give a detailed description of their research in one page. We're interested in knowing what you've been working on in the past and what your plans are for future scholarly work.

  4. How does my chair submit her/his letter of support?

    Your chair (or department head or dean, or other person writing a letter of support for you) is automatically notified by e-mail when you submit your application to MAA Project NExT. They can submit their letter by uploading it at the site as requested by the MathPrograms system. As a professional courtesy, you should notify your chair or dean that this request will be coming before entering their email into the system. 

  5. What are you looking for in the letter of support (from the chair/head of my department)?

    Since we don't want Fellows to drop out of the program because of lack of travel money, the first thing we look for in the letter of support is a firm and clearly stated institutional commitment to pay the applicant's travel expenses to the three meetings that participation in MAA Project NExT entails [See meeting cost]. We also want to know whether the applicant will be encouraged to implement new teaching strategies in the classroom.Beyond that, we are interested in knowing how the applicant's participation in MAA Project NExT would contribute to the department's goals and about its potential effect on the department as a whole. We also have an instruction sheet for chairs of prospective NExT'ers.

  6. What do I need to send in to apply to MAA Project NExT?

    See top of application page.

  7. How many people are accepted each year?

    In recent years we have received about 150 applications per year. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to accept everyone. In 2018, we accepted 90 Fellows. Our goal is to accept all qualified applicants, and we are actively seeking funds to make that possible. 

  8. Why do you limit the number of Fellows you accept each year?

    MAA Project NExT is generously funded by the MAA and other groups, but that funding is not unlimited. We are always looking for ways to expand the program. If you know of a possible source of funding, let us know!

  9. If I apply, how will I find out whether I was selected?

    Our goal is to tell applicants on June 1st or December 1st (depending on which application group they are in) whether they were selected as MAA Project NExT Fellows. Whether you are selected or not, you will hear from us. Please make sure that you give us good contact information (including a cell phone number and working e-mail address) so that we can notify you. 

  10. Which application date should I use?

    NExT'ers who join each summer cohort can be split into two groups. Those in one group typically get offered a position in the spring, negotiate with their new institution to support them in MAA Project NExT, apply to the program by April 15th, and are notified by June 1st. In previous years, everyone has used this timeline. Starting Fall 2018, a second group (those who have already been employed at their institutions in the year prior to starting NExT) should apply by the previous October 15th. They will be notified by December 1st. . Whether you are selected or not, you will hear from us. Please make sure that you give us good contact information (including a cell phone number and working e-mail address) so that we can notify you. 

  11. If I am not accepted, can I apply next year?

    Yes. See the discussion of how we look at teaching experience in the typical applicant section. If you choose to re-apply the following year, your application should be updated to include your reflections on your teaching in the interim. Note that if you stay in the same position, your application date might change (to October 15th).

Meetings

  1. Are there any changes to the support required of a Fellow's institution this year, when compared to previous years?

    Yes. Starting in 2012 we expect NExT'ers' institutions to cover all lodging costs for all meetings (before that, MAA Project NExT paid for 3-4 days of participants' lodging costs for the workshop). At the first meeting, we provide one dinner, one lunch, and two breakfasts.

  2. I know that my institution must pay my travel expenses. How much will that cost?

    There is no charge for participating in the MAA Project NExT Workshops and other activities - those costs are generously paid for by the MAA and other funders. However, NExT'ers and their institutions are responsible for transportation, housing costs, and some meals for three national meetings, spread over thirteen months.

    • MathFest (late July or early August)

    • Joint Mathematics Meetings (January)

    • MathFest the following summer.

    Depending on transportation costs, this usually adds up to about $4000 per Fellow. During the first summer MAA Project NExT Workshop, some of the NExT'ers' meals are paid for by the grants that support MAA Project NExT. However, it is the responsibility of their institution to pay all lodging costs at the MAA Project NExT Workshop and at MathFest, and to pay for all additional meals. In total, Fellows' institutions are responsible for

    • Round-trip transportation to all three meetings

    • Registration fees (around $400 for each meeting)

    • 6-7 nights and 5-6 days' board for the first MathFest meeting.

    • 4-5 days' room and board for the Joint Meetings.

    • 4-5 days' room and board for the second MathFest meeting.

  3.   I want to participate in MAA Project NExT, but I can't attend all Three of the required meetings. Can I still apply? 

    The Fellows are expected to attend all three meetings - see the Dates and Locations page for exact dates.  Although family or medical emergencies occasionally prevent a Fellow from attending one of the other two meetings, Fellows should not schedule travel or summer school teaching that would prevent them from attending. If you already know that you will be unable to attend any of the days specified, then you should not apply. If you choose to apply later, please explain your situation in your application.

  4. I am applying to MAA Project NExT; the registration deadline for MathFest is before the June 1 acceptance notification date for MAA Project NExT. Should I register for MathFest before then?

    Iff you are planning to attend MathFest regardless of your acceptance into MAA Project NExT, then go ahead and register. If you are not going to attend Mathfest unless you are accepted to MAA Project NExT, then you should wait until you have heard from us. If you register after being accepted to MAA Project NExT, we will provide details on how to register for the conference most economically.

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