Guidance on Faculty Job Materials


Cover letter | Teaching StatementResearch Statement | Diversity Statement | Evaluation of Applications

Cover Letter

Please prepare a cover letter (1-2 pages).  The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself and to highlight how you could contribute to the Department.  The goal is to provide sufficient information to encourage the reader to seek to learn more about you.  A good cover letter is not generic, but rather targeted to the particulars of the job ad. 

Teaching Statement

Please prepare a teaching statement (1-2 pages) that outlines your teaching philosophy, equity in the classroom, awareness of teaching challenges and their possible solutions, the centrality of ethics in teaching, and experience or goals regarding student mentoring in research or other realms. This document should discuss your approach to teaching both large lower-division lecture courses as well as upper division classes. This should be a purposeful and reflective essay about your teaching beliefs and practices, and classroom experiences. It is an individual narrative that includes not only your beliefs about the teaching and learning process, but also concrete examples of the ways in which you enact these beliefs in the classroom.  This statement could include your conception of how learning occurs; a description of how your teaching facilitates student learning; reflection of why you teach the way you do; the goals you have for yourself and for your students; how your teaching enacts your beliefs and goals; what, for you, constitutes evidence of student learning; the ways in which you create an inclusive learning environment; the ways you address diversity in the classroom; your interests in new techniques, activities, and types of learning; your strategies for addressing challenges faced by under-represented minorities.

Research Statement

Note: applicants for Teaching Assistant Professor positions do not submit a research statement. Please prepare a research statement (1-2 pages) that outlines your research activities and accomplishments, as well as future plans.  The statement should provide an overview of the commitments and themes that orient your research, their relevance to the wider field, and address specific or planned outcomes. Include how your research connects to others in the department and University.

Diversity Statement

The Department of Anthropology requests applicants submit a Diversity Statement (1-2 pages). The statement is an opportunity to:

  1. highlight how your research, teaching, and service advance meaningful demographic diversity in anthropology and/or higher education,
  2. describe specific ways you would help advance the department’s commitments to anti-racism, and
  3. describe your future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion activities while at UW and how they might fit into the classroom, research area, department, campus, or national context. You may consider but are not restricted to current or ongoing campus activities.  Please describe the role you envision having and what you would like to accomplish in the next two to five years.

Please focus on your past experience or background that has made you aware of the challenges faced by underrepresented or marginalized (URM) groups in anthropology and/or higher education. For purposes of evaluating contributions to diversity, under-represented groups (URGs) includes under-represented ethnic or racial minorities (URM), women, LGBTQ, first-generation college, people with disabilities, and people from underprivileged backgrounds.  Your past efforts or experiences that have contributed to your awareness of challenges faced by URMs could include, but is not limited to: mentoring of students, staff or faculty from under-represented groups in anthropology;  leadership roles; serving on committees or board that focused on diversity, equity, climate and/or inclusion; work with relevant communities; K-12 outreach; pedagogy and curriculum development; programming in university or community contexts; advocacy. Please describe the role you envision having and what you would like to accomplish in the next two to five years. Some candidates for faculty positions may not have substantial past activities. If that is the case, we recommend focusing on future plans in your statement.

Past Activities

For each past activity that you include, please be specific about the context, your role, scope or level of effort, and the impact. Below are examples of contributions to diversity and equity. These are illustrative and by no means exhaustive.

  • Mentoring Activities: If you mentored students, post-docs, staff or faculty from underrepresented groups, describe the specific context and objective of the mentoring, including your personal efforts. Include details that may be relevant, including the number of people who benefited, duration, and outcomes (i.e., success and progress of mentees during and after mentoring, including employment, educational success, etc.).
  • Committee Service: If you served on a committee or board that focused on diversity, equity, climate and/or inclusion, describe the committee’s accomplishments and your role in helping achieve them. Include your position on the committee, its duration, and other relevant details.
  • Research Activities: If any of your past research specifically contributed to diversity, equity and inclusion, describe the work and any impact or positive outcomes it has had on the University, discipline, or broader community.
  • Other Activities (e.g. recruitment/retention/teaching/community): Describe the activity and its context (e.g. a specific conference or organization, student retention or outreach activity, course development to reach a specific group, outreach to a local school, or work with a diversity-related non-profit). What was your role and personal effort? How did these activities relate to campus needs? These may include efforts to diversify your research group or lab; other efforts to diversify your department or field; development or use of pedagogies that address different learning styles and/or learning disabilities; development of a course on DEAI issues.

Planned Activities

The first step is to gather information on activities you would like to pursue while at UW and how they might fit into the research area, department, campus, or national context. You may consider but are not restricted to current or ongoing campus activities.  For each proposed activity you include, describe the role you envision having and what you would like to accomplish in the next two to five years. Who would you like to engage in your efforts, and how would you plan to engage them? Be as specific as possible, but realistic in terms of your effort and time commitment.

Evaluation of Applications

UW Anthropology searches typically utilize a rubric that includes areas such as Record and Vision on Diversity, Collaboration and Engagement, and Teaching Philosophy and Skills.  Tenure-track positions also assess the applicant’s Research Record and how the applicant’s research connects to other faculty in the department and across the campus.  The documents that applicants provide help the search committee evaluate applicants in these areas.  Despite the fact that we ask for individual documents, we also look for and value connections among an applicant’s research, teaching, service and efforts to foster an equitable and inclusive campus and departmental community.