I am going to give an on-campus job talk for a tenure-track assistant professor position. According to the searching chair, my talk will include teaching, research, and service philosophy, and other attributes that show me as a good match for the position. The time slot allocated for the presentation will be about 45 minutes.

Since the anticipated appointments for this position are about 60% research + 40% teaching, I wonder if my talk should cover the two topics in a similar proportion, with just briefly touching on services. Regarding research, how should I balance my previous and future research?

Logically I will first talk about my research philosophy, then some selected past research projects and finally future research plans for this position, but there may be other more effective way. Similarly, I will talk about my teaching philosophy, experiences and future teaching interests.

  • I don't think this question can be answered without reading the job ad and the profiles of existing faculty. Mar 10, 2020 at 23:39
  • What field are you in? Most of the job talks I have seen (computer science) focus primarily on research, with some minor emphasis (<5 slides) on teaching and service.
    – Spark
    Mar 11, 2020 at 1:25
  • @Spark I am in agriculture engineering. I am not sure if I should also do that as you mentioned
    – user105065
    Mar 11, 2020 at 14:25
  • If your job implicitly would include some outreach... to literally help/advise farmers in your area... you'd want to mention something about that! Oct 6, 2022 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


Let me suggest that this depends to a certain amount on what is already in your CV. If you need to "boost" any area there, use more of the time to provide that boost.

For example, if your CV is already very strong in research output, you don't need to focus especially on that, other than to give an overview of your future directions (sort of like an SoP). So, spend a bit more time on teaching philosophy.

But if you are a bit weaker in the research area (hard to judge, I know), then focus more on that.

In any case, talk about how you fit in the department; synergy with current faculty members.

But don't completely ignore any area, even at an R1 university (or at a liberal arts college, for that matter). It has a broad mission, after all.


While not an exact duplicate, you might benefit from some advice given in this related question. I will repeat some of that advice here.

While the breakdown of your presentation time for each topic is important, a more important thing is to see your presentation as a unity, and use each part of it to demonstrate your abilities in all aspects of your academic work. Ideally, your presentation of your research should show what a great teacher you are (e.g., by exhibiting your engaging style, the ease of explaining the material, etc.) and your presentation of your teaching style and method should show what a serious and thorough researcher you are (e.g., that your method is informed by pedagogical research, etc.). Similarly, your professional service is likely to interact with your research and/or teaching, so it can often be weaved into these parts to augment them as you go. By augmenting topics in this way, you can "cheat" the time allowance --- e.g., your audience is seeing what a good teacher you are both when you talk about teaching and when you talk about research or service.

Likewise, rather than trying to demarcate your research philosophy from your actual research, and do these in a strict sequential order, it ought to be possible to weave these together so that they are a unity --- e.g., discuss your research philosophy, but use examples of your past research to concretise this discussion. Similarly, use discussion of your research philosophy to explain choices you've made within your actual research. As you illustrate your past research, you can raise questions that you want to pursue in future research, again tying this in so that your past and future research are unified.

The ideal result here is for each part of your presentation to augment the other so that the exact split of time between the parts is not to the derogation of one or the other. If you can make an engaging presentation where your research, teaching and service weave together into a compelling whole then your audience is likely to be left with a positive impression of each. It is unlikely that people will care much about the time split so long as they felt that your presentation was engaging and interesting, and they got at least a little taste of each part and how it ties together as a whole.

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