What the PFF Program Offers

All along, I thought I knew what it takes to be a successful faculty professor. But I had it all wrong. PFF has enabled me to understand [faculty life] much better and is equipping me with a litany of skills to make my faculty life more manageable.

– Master’s student in Family and Consumer Science, ISU

The Iowa State University PFF program is designed to help prepare students for an academic career. In particular the program helps you: find your fit in the broad and diverse academic landscape; attain valuable teaching experiences; learn how to communicate your strengths in a compelling way in your employment application materials; and understand how to succeed in your first academic position.

Preparing Future Faculty is a national movement sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools. Since the PFF program is widely known among academic institutions, participants who complete the Associate, Fellow, and Scholar levels of participation will receive credentials valuable in the academic marketplace. Specifically participants can receive transcript notations showing level of participation, documentation for a portfolio or dossier, and letters of recommendation from PFF mentors.

I cannot imagine trying to begin an academic job without having PFF. Through seminars, mentoring, and teaching, the program exposed me to so many different aspects of the academic community that I would have never even considered without it.

– Ph.D. student in Chemistry, ISU 

For Graduate Students and Post Docs

The Iowa State University PFF program provides a number of opportunities and benefits directly related to your professional development as a graduate student or post doc.

  • Increased practical teaching information and opportunities. PFF’s focus on teaching can give you the credentials and the confidence you need to face a competitive academic job market.
  • Additional information on the balance of research, teaching, and service at various types of higher education institutions. This information can better prepare you to deal with the competing demands of a faculty position.
  • Additional mentoring, with a tenure-track faculty member of your choice. PFF mentoring supplements the research mentoring you receive from your major professor and gives you the opportunity to build a new professional relationship.
  • Seminars and workshops in such diverse topics as grant and proposal writing, intellectual property, learning styles, employment research, and promotion and tenure. This coursework can help you develop a more comprehensive view of today’s academic workplace.
  • Current job search information. PFF provides speakers and other resources on the job search and critiques of your job letter and vita.
  • Enhanced placement information. PFF gives you opportunities to interact with faculty and administrators from diverse institutions with different student populations and a wide range of institutional expectations to help you make decisions about the kind of institution that is right for you.
  • A strong interdisciplinary professional network. The connections you make both with Iowa State PFF participants and at partner institutions can benefit you in your career.

For Faculty

In addition to the list of benefits and opportunities for graduate students and post docs, there are a number of PFF benefits that are of interest to faculty as well. The key benefits include:

  • Serves as a recruitment tool to attract excellent graduate students
  • Provides enhanced professional training at no cost to the faculty member. This professional training may be a requirement for grants such as IGERT, GAANNS, VIGRE, and other federal granting programs
  • Enhanced interdepartmental and inter-institutional networking opportunities
  • Enhanced emphasis on teaching excellence by supporting structured teaching experiences
  • Enhanced graduate student satisfaction
  • Enhanced preparation for going on the job market and transitioning into an academic career